Calls for Dubai banking reforms

Advocates call for legal reforms of UAE banking system that jails people for bounced cheques.

    The family of a British property developer jailed in the United Arab Emirates is requesting that he be pardoned in conjunction with the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

    Safi Qurashi was sentenced to seven years in a Dubai prison for bouncing three cheques, an act considered a criminal offence. Al Jazeera's Dan Nolan reports from Dubai on a case that has advocates calling for legal reform.

    " /> " allowfullscreen="true">

    Convictions for writing bad cheques can carry stiff sentences, and they have landed dozens of Dubai residents in jail. The emirate has actually established a special court to handle these cases, and the Abu Dhabi-based newspaper The National reported that it hears hundreds of cases each week.

    The sums involved are often quite steep: A British man was jailed last year for bouncing a cheque worth Dh180,000 ($49,000), and an Emirati man faces jail time this month for a bad cheque worth Dh6.7 million ($1.8 million).

    Activists say the law should be changed to replace jail time with a fine, except in cases of serious or repeat offenders. But judicial officials in the UAE insist on taking a hard line. The minister of justice set up a committee last year to study the law, but so far it has recommended few changes.

    "A criminal judge is not concerned about what circumstances the cheque was issued under," Judge Ahmed Saif, the chief justice of the Dubai criminal courts, told The National.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why some African Americans are moving to Africa

    Escaping systemic racism: Why I quit New York for Accra

    African-Americans are returning to the lands of their ancestors as life becomes precarious and dangerous in the USA.

    What happens when the US government shuts down?

    The US government has shut down. What happens next?

    US federal government begins partial shutdown after Senate blocks short-term spending bill. What happens next?

    Why is the West praising Malala, but ignoring Ahed?

    Why is the West praising Malala, but ignoring Ahed?

    Is an empowered Palestinian girl not worthy of Western feminist admiration?