UN officials ask UAE to release British businessman detained since 2008

The officials of the UN have urged the United Arab Emirates to release a British businessman immediately who has been captured in the nation since 2008.

The officials of the UN have urged the United Arab Emirates to release a British businessman immediately who has been captured in the nation since 2008.

The UN’s working group on arbitrary detention had ruled that Ryan Cornelius had been captured arbitrarily in the United Arab Emirates since 2008 when he was arrested at Dubai airport. While in detention, he has got infected with tuberculosis.


The 68-year-old’s lawyers state he was subjected to several human rights violations, involving extended periods of solitary detention and aggressive interrogations without legal representation, before being accused of fraud in 2010 and was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment.

Two months ahead of his release date in March 2018, he was given a new additional sentence of 20 years based on UAE law that was brought in after his first sentencing.

The UN working group has criticised the violations of the fundamental rights imposed by the UAE authorities on Cornelius and is asking for his immediate release, with compensation paid for his suffering, in line with international legislation.

It has insisted that the UAE opens an inquiry into Cornelius’s detention.

Cornelius was detained after complicated business dealings involving influential Emirati individuals.

The UN working group’s ruling said that Ryan’s human rights were being violated during his initial arrest and subsequent legal proceedings comprising arbitrary detention.


It further expresses worry regarding Cornelius’s worsening health and calls for the UAE to instantly release him so he can be treated for his tuberculosis.

Rhys Davies, Ryan’s legal representative, stated, “The injustice that Ryan has been subjected to by the officials in the UAE shows a flagrant disregard for basic human rights. The FCDO cannot persist in neglecting its duty to protect the rights of British citizens abroad. Mr Cornelius has been held arbitrarily for too long and must be brought home to his family immediately.”

Heather Cornelius, Ryan’s wife, said, “The results of this UN declaration are undeniable – my husband’s basic rights have been violated for many years, and it is right that he must be released immediately. All our requests to the FCDO have been neglected. I am now begging them to act on this official ruling from the UN and bring my husband home.”

Tariq Saeed

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