WASHINGTON, July 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As U.S. citizen Zack Shahin prepares for three separate procedural court hearings this week in Dubai, it is hoped that the Dubai judicial system heeds the words from the U.S. government regarding Shahin's deprivation of due process since his arrest in 2008. In a strongly worded statement, the U.S. Charge d'Affaires in the United Arab Emirates, L. Victor Hurtado, stated on June 29 that "We continue to urge the authorities to release him on bail, as has been approved but not carried out in the past. In addition, we urge that the several outstanding pending cases against Mr. Shahin can be consolidated, allowing him to defend himself more effectively." As Shahin's ordeal continues in his Dubai prison cell, there is an opportunity for Dubai's judicial system to demonstrate to senior U.S. government officials that there is rule of law in Dubai and that due process rights do apply to non-Emirati defendants. The judges presiding over Shahin's procedural hearings are urged to collaborate with senior Dubai judicial system officials to consolidate all remaining pending cases so Shahin may more effectively prove his innocence in an open and fair court hearing, and grant one immediate and reasonable bail bond for Shahin that encompasses all remaining charges.
U.S. legal counsel to Zack Shahin issued the following statement:
"Senior U.S. government official L. Victor Hurtado made it crystal clear that Washington will no longer tolerate the violations of due process for U.S. citizen Zack Shahin. As stated earlier, we are pleased that the U.S. government has publicly stated a rebuke to Dubai's disregard for the rule of law in Zack's case. As Zack's procedural hearings continue throughout the week, we urge Washington and State Department officials in the United Arab Emirates to continue calling for a consolidation of Zack's remaining cases, immediate and reasonable bail, and a fair and open trial. Dubai authorities should be urged to work closely with the judges presiding over Zack's cases and take whatever steps are necessary to consolidate his remaining cases and issue a single, reasonable bail bond. Further examples of due process violations will only aggravate what already is viewed a serious matter, not only to us, but also to the United States government. What will it take to convince the Dubai authorities of this?"
Zack Shahin has been on a hunger strike since May 14 to protest American officials' failure to speak out publicly on his behalf and call on UAE to grant his immediate and reasonable bail.