US urges review in UAE torture case
Washington, January 12, 2010
The United States said it had questions about the acquittal of a member of Abu Dhabi's ruling family on charges of torturing and raping an Afghan and called for a review to ensure justice was served.
Sheikh Issa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan was exonerated on Sunday of responsibility for the abuse, which was shown in a video first made public by ABC News last year.
ABC identified one of the people taking part in the abuse as Sheikh Issa.
In the footage, which dates to 2004, Afghan grain trader Mohammed Shahpoor was struck with an electric cattle prod, beaten with whips and a plank of wood with a nail in it, and driven over by a car at a desert location.
"We recognize that all members of Emirati society must stand equal before the law, and we remain concerned for the victim of this horrible crime," said State Department spokesman P J Crowley.
"We would welcome a careful review of the judge's decision and an assessment of all available legal options to ensure that the demands of justice are fully met in this case, and we will continue to closely monitor it," he added. "There are still questions that have been raised by this case."
The comments amounted to rare US criticism of the UAE, a US ally and the world's third largest oil exporter. - Reuters