U.S. Citizens finally freed from UAE Prison

The United Arab Emirates continues to show how fraudulent its practices are and how dangerous it is for foreigners. Two U.S. citizens were recently freed from Emirati prison after 21 months due to fraudulent charges.


Kamal Eldarat and his son Mohamed were finally released earlier this week. They were first detained in 2014 after a massive arrest in the UAE of a dozen Libyans and men of Libyan heritage living in the UAE and charged with supporting militants fighting in Libya. Even though all the terrorism charges were dropped the two still were being charged with providing supplies to armed groups in Libya. Family members that spoke to the father and his son said they are seeking medical treatment from being tortured, beaten, waterboarded, and sleep deprived while in Emirati prison. The UAE denied these claims. After U.S. officials pushed the UAE government to release the men, they were both finally freed and acquitted on all charges and allowed to return to the U.S.


Recently, a 31-year-old Missouri native, Matthew Novak, who worked as a school teacher in Abu Dhabi from 2009 to 2012 was arrested. After working in Abu Dhabi, Novak took a teaching job in Thailand and later in Egypt. While in Abu Dhabi, he lost his U.S. passport and reported it missing to the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi as well as the local police before he received a replacement passport. During a layover in Abu Dhabi International Airport while traveling from Thailand to Egypt for work, he was stopped and arrested. The state run WAM news agency never reported his imprisonment. Apparently, someone had used Novak’s missing passport to make nearly $90,000 in fake loans. The beloved teacher, concert violinist, and Master’s graduate was recently cleared of the charges and allowed to leave the UAE.