UAE | Crime

UAE official faces trial for alleged attack on Indian driver

Police act swiftly in public interest after video showing alleged assault goes viral on internet

  • By Bassma Al Jandaly, Community and Crime Correspondent
  • Published: 21:00 July 16, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • A screengrab from the YouTube video that shows a government official beating a driver using his Ghutra.

Dubai: The Dubai Police on Tuesday transferred the case of a senior government official to the Public Prosecution for allegedly assaulting a van driver following a minor traffic accident.

A YouTube video that showed the alleged assault went viral on social media on Monday night, but the clip was later removed.

Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Acting Chief of Dubai Police, told Gulf News: “Dubai Police apprehended the government official and called the van driver after taking cognisance of the case. Though the van driver did not file a complaint against the official immediately after the incident on Saturday, police acted swiftly in public interest.”

Police said the Indian van driver clipped the Emirati official’s four-wheel drive in the Muraqqabat area and drove away without bothering to stop — which is against the law. Motorists involved in minor accidents must stop and both parties need to report the matter to police.

The official then chased down the driver, stopped him and allegedly assaulted him. The YouTube video posted by a passer-by shows the assault happening in clear view of other road users. Another passer-by is shown intervening to stop the assault.

Maj Gen Al Mazeina said the official has been detained and the case has been transferred to the Public Prosecution. “The suspect told police during investigations that the van driver verbally abused him after the accident,” he said.

“Even if it is true that the van driver verbally abused the official, no one has the right to take the law into their own hands,” Maj Gen Al Mazeina said. “The police and other authorities are responsible for dealing with such incidents. We will not allow anyone else by any means to act on behalf of law enforcement authorities.”

Maj Gen Al Mazeina also said that the incident “is inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour”.

“This kind of behaviour is not a part of our tradition or morals. Emiratis treat their guests well and respect all nationalities and cultures. They are forgiving and kind-hearted and will not behave in this way,” he said. “Even if they are involved in major accidents, no Emirati behaves in this way.”

The family of the official has filed a case against the person who filmed the video and posted it on YouTube, since it violates the UAE Cybercrime Law, which prohibits anyone from taking videos or pictures in public areas without the acknowledgment of people involved. Such an act is illegal and constitutes defamation, according to Dubai Police.

Maj Gen Al Mazeina said police will investigate the complaint since any person with such a video must share it only with police and relevant authorities and not post it in the public domain.

Commenting on the video on social media, a user who identified himself as Saeed Al Adawi wrote: “The country has laws and taking matters in your own hands does not work. You tarnished the image of the UAE, Arabs and Islam with your behaviour.”

Another YouTube user identified as Yasmin Al Ahmad commented: “You can’t do that [beat someone] and get away with it in Dubai”.

Another user, Sascha Winter, said there was no need for such action because there are laws. “There are many legal actions that can be undertaken by law enforcement. Times when an eye was for an eye are thankfully gone.”

- With additional inputs from Noorhan Barakat, Staff Reporter

Comments (52)

  1. Added 18:04 July 17, 2013

    Rofl,Like half of the U.A.E knows this guy now...Anyway this case shouldn't have been highlighted xD

    Ahmed, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 16:53 July 17, 2013

    I salute Dubai police for being fair to every one. thank you for not letting anyone abuse no matter what nationality we are, even if you are an official you should know the right and wrong, you should be respectful especially if you are an official, you should be a good role model to us. i hope all those that abuse others here get lessons from this incident. That's why i still love to stay here in dubai and im not afraid because i know that i'm safe with dubai police i really admire you all... Thank you so much for giving fair justice. YOU ARE THE BEST!

    nisu, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 16:03 July 17, 2013

    The fair judgment will be to make the van driver SLAP and hit him the same way in front of the public! And why is the guy arrested who made the video? if it wouldn't have been viral on youtube that guy wldnt hav been arrested!

    Tee, DXB, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 15:28 July 17, 2013

    I am glad that the police are taking action, despite the Emirati being a top official. This is how it should always be...as no one is above the law, no matter who you are and where you come from!

    Rowena, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 14:53 July 17, 2013

    The van driver hit the guys car and ran. I do think MOST of us would beat the guy up if we caught up and managed to stop the culprit. If the guy beating the van driver were also an expat would it have become HEADLINE news?? I have seen expats beat up expats on the road several times. No one posts that video on YouTube.... I will say... It seems that this is all done to show the world how expats are treated here... or at least that is the picture it paints. Shame on everyone.

    Muhammad Shoaib Ali, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 14:36 July 17, 2013

    Hats of to DubaiPolice, excellent job they have done. These type of people should be punished by law, it's tru no one above the law. I deal with many locals in day to day life all have different minds but are good, polite & gentle...

    I A E, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 14:07 July 17, 2013

    why would any one hit and run ? unless you dont have a driving licence . Thanks to Dubai Police for being Fare to all !

    siddarth nanthur, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 14:06 July 17, 2013

    If the truck would not abuse the guy after bang him i think the problem would have been that way, the truck driver should respect the guy and stop to say sorry not to ignore the the law buy running and abuse the guy,i think the truck is the cause of all this and shuold purnished as well.

    said salim, muscat, Oman

  9. Added 14:03 July 17, 2013

    Salute to Dubai Police for a good decision that you showed with the driver. i have never see like this country(UAE) in the world. because they are accepting all types of people to work , and to feel like their own house and family, treating like a guest and for the security.

    Ajay, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 13:56 July 17, 2013

    Wake up guys, we are in the 21st centrury & live in this sophisticated part of the world & not in a jungle, there are some people out there who take laws into their own hands & spoil the image on the entire nation.Thanks to the police for taking an action against offender.

    Prakash, ANU DHABI, India

  11. View more comments

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