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http://wikileaks.org/cable/2004/09/04ABUDHABI3209.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
04ABUDHABI3209
2004-09-16 06:04
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Abu Dhabi

null
Diana T Fritz 02/05/2007 05:36:14 PM From DB/Inbox: Search Results

Cable
Text:

C O N F I D E N T I A L ABU DHABI 03209

SIPDIS
CXABU:
ACTION: DCM
INFO: POL AMB

DISSEMINATION: DCM
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: AMB:MSISON
DRAFTED: POL:SRADDANT
CLEARED: A/DCM:HOWINDECKER CG:JDAVIS POL:JMAYBURY

VZCZCADI691
RR RUEHC RUEHDE RUEHNE RUEHKT RUEHML RUEHCG
RUEHZM
DE RUEHAD #3209/01 2600604
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 160604Z SEP 04
FM AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5945
INFO RUEHDE/AMCONSUL DUBAI 4339
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 1224
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 0024
RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA 0592
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI 0116
RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ABU DHABI 003209

SIPDIS

STATE FOR G/TIP, INL, DRL, SA/INS, NEA/RA, AND NEA/ARP

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/14/14
TAGS: PHUM PREL TC IN NP RP
SUBJECT: TIP CASES SHOW UAE STILL CHALLENGED

REF: DUBAI 1267

¶1. (U) This is an action request for G/TIP and NEA/ARPI
country desk, please see paragraph 9.

¶2. (C) SUMMARY: A number of recent trafficking cases in the
UAE point to the continuing challenges in the TIP arena
here. There is a growing difference in views between Dubai
police and public prosecutors on how to best handle
trafficking cases. Police say they want to break the
criminal rings that facilitate trafficking by prosecuting
traffickers. Prosecutors, on the other hand, prefer to
deport traffickers and prostitutes and focus on measures
that will prevent their return to the UAE. This quandary
between the Ministries of Interior and Justice on how to
best combat the UAE’s human trafficking problem will
hopefully be resolved once a new anti-TIP law is approved,
possibly later this year.

————
ANITA’S CASE
————

¶3. (U) On August 30, the UAE press reported on the story of
a 31-year-old Indian woman who was brought to the UAE under
false promises of employment, then forced into
prostitution. “Anita” claimed an Indian named “Nasser”
recruited her in March for a Dubai hospital job that would
pay her more than twice her Indian salary. She was charged
the equivalent of ten months of her UAE salary to “process
travel documents.” Upon reaching Dubai, Anita was
immediately forced into prostitution. After about four
months she was “sold” for about $1,600 and transferred to
Abu Dhabi. She escaped a month later during one of the
regular transfers of women between apartments. A family
sheltered her until she was able to get assistance from the
Indian Consulate.

————————————
POLICE FRUSTRATED THEY CAN’T DO MORE
————————————

¶4. (C) On August 30, Poloff spoke with the Director of the
Dubai Human Rights Care Department, Lt. Col. Mohammed
Abdulla Al Murr, about this case. Al Murr said his
department was not involved with the case, and expressed
frustration over the lack of open communications between
his office and source country embassies and consulates. He
said that he and his deputies have met with a number of
source country missions over the past few months to
exchange views on the problem of human trafficking, offer
police assistance with both assisting victims and pursuing
traffickers, and inform missions that his department has
branches in every police station in Dubai. He said he
provided all missions his department’s 24-hour victims’
hotline phone number and directed them to the Human Rights
Care Department’s website for more information.

¶5. (C) Al Murr said he was also frustrated with the Dubai
Public Prosecutor’s office, and specifically with policies
set by Dubai Attorney General Ibrahim Bu Melha. He said
that Dubai police regularly arrest traffickers and send
cases to public prosecutors, only to have the charges
dropped and traffickers quietly deported without trial or
publicity. He said Bu Melha prefers to deport traffickers
and victims alike, rather than following the better (albeit
more time- and resource-consuming) law enforcement
practices that would break the criminal rings. He said
that this disconnect has been heating up over the past few
months.

¶6. (C) Bu Melha has told us (see reftel) that, in the past,
Public Prosecution has regularly put both prostitutes and
traffickers on trial, convicted them, and kept them in jail
for a short time before “pardoning” and deporting them. In
April, Bu Melha again said that the most effective
punishment was to deport traffickers and ensure that they
never returned to Dubai. (Note: Police and MOI officials
confirmed that, while “repeat offenders” used to be able to
return to Dubai shortly after deportation, they no longer
can due to implementation of iris recognition scanning of
all deportees and “new” visitors from source countries.
Since scanning began in March 2003, over 11,000 potential
illegal immigrants have been turned away at the border. End
Note.) In his conversations with us earlier this year, Bu
Melha noted that limited jail space was also an important
consideration. Additionally, according to current UAE law,
prosecutors must treat prostitutes as criminals except when
coercion could be clearly proven. Bu Melha said the only
way around this practice would be to either change UAE law,
or for his office to institutionalize a “creative approach”
to prosecuting cases, such as routinely pardoning
prostitutes prior to their cases coming to court, while
following through with the trials of their traffickers.
This way, the victims can go home while their “bosses” do
jail time in Dubai. Bu Melha indicated that he would not
oppose such an approach, but that it would need to be
coordinated with various Dubai government entities.

————————-
INDIAN CONSULATE COMMENTS
————————-

¶7. (U) Poloff spoke with K.M. Venugopalan, a vice consul at
India’s Consulate in Dubai, about trafficking trends. He
said that the consulate sees cases similar to Anita’s
situation once or twice a month in Dubai, and somewhat less
frequently in Abu Dhabi. Many of the victims come from
India’s Kerala state. The consulate has asked Kerala to
verify all employment offers made to single women before
they are allowed to travel to the UAE. He said traffickers
employ individuals to act as recruitment agents to identify
young single women and convince them to accept “job offers”
with temptingly high salaries. The agents often use false
names and prevent victims from learning other identifying
information so that, if victims do escape, they can offer
authorities very little information that could lead them to
their traffickers. For this reason, Venugopalan said the
consulate rarely calls the police, since he believes
victims do not offer enough information about traffickers
to open an investigation. Rather, the consulate writes to
the local police station and MFA after it assists the
victims. He said the consulate rarely receives responses
from the MFA, and on the few occasions that police stations
have responded, they have done so only after a lapse of
several months.

——————–
TIP REPORTS INCREASE
——————–

¶8. (C) Since Anita’s story broke, the press has run three
more stories on women who escaped from prostitution rings,
and another report of 23 Pakistani boys who were
repatriated after working in the UAE as camel jockeys. We
also learned of similar situations during meetings with the
Embassy of Nepal in Abu Dhabi and Philippine Consulate in
Dubai. All the victims mentioned thought they were coming
to the UAE for legitimate work, not knowing they would be
forced into prostitution.

—————
RECOMMENDATIONS
—————

¶9. (C) Conflicting approaches between the Ministries of
Justice and Interior regarding how to handle traffickers
and their victims may be resolved once new anti-TIP
legislation is adopted, possibly as early as later this
year. Interior has formed a special committee to review
existing laws related to human trafficking, and Justice
agreed in February to review an anti-TIP model law provided
by G/TIP (Interior is reviewing the same text). Post will
continue to work closely with the UAEG at all levels to
encourage passage of the legislation as soon as possible.

¶10. (U) Action Request: Post also requests G/TIP and
NEA/ARPI desk to forward text, preferably in Arabic, of any
existing anti-trafficking legislation used in other Arabic
and/or Muslim countries. Finally, Post will test UAEG
receptivity to receiving assistance from U.S. trafficking,
legal and law enforcement experts as it drafts its anti-
trafficking law. Involving an outside team of seasoned
specialists could help the UAE move past its
Justice/Interior disconnect more quickly, and ensure that
the UAEG has the legal tool it needs to help combat its
serious trafficking problem.

SISON

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