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Detained in Dubai Declare ‘Do Not Confess’





Civil liberties organization Detained in Dubai (DID) warned that ‘perhaps 90-95% of all convictions in the UAE are based on confessions’ this week, and advised visitors to the Gulf State to never sign anything and to always utilise a lawyer in all dealings with the police.


“Either there is something unique about the Emirates which causes every criminal to have spontaneous attacks of conscience at the moment of their arrest, or there is something more ominous going on here,” said Detained in Dubai.


“Over the years, we have been told repeatedly that our clients have already spoken to the police, provided a signed statement or even confessed to a crime (often that they are completely innocent of).


It is quite standard for suspects to sign a statement in Arabic, even if they have not been provided with an English version and where they are unable to verify the content of what they have signed.”


“Usually, suspects sign such statements on (often false) promises of instant release or as a result of threats, intimidation or duress.


The feeling of helplessness and vulnerability is overwhelming and the police often pretend to be supportive or helpful of the suspect, to elicit a confession or statement.


It is difficult to imagine for those who have not endured the experience, how hard it is to maintain a strong stance to police questioning, particularly when you are ignorant of your rights under an unfamiliar legal system.


“We have been conditioned by popular sayings such as “nothing to hide, nothing to fear” or “only guilty people need a lawyer”.


“It is this conditioning that can lead to innocent suspects being prosecuted.  There is a sense of desperation and hope.


“There is an innate survival instinct which leads people to hope that if they cooperate, their captors will spare them.”


“Law enforcers are well aware of human psychology in these situations and use it to achieve their objective . . . a conviction.  Signing a confession in the UAE will not secure your freedom, it is more likely, indeed, to seal your fate.”


Tactics Police Use to Get a Confession; “If an officer stops you and you do not know why, you should assume that the officer suspects you of committing a crime—whether that crime is speeding or murder—and is trying to get you to confess to the crime, and you should act accordingly. Ask if you are free to leave. If you are, then leave . . . It is an urban myth that police officers can never lie . . .”:












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