Dubai: Twitter has suspended the accounts of a self-proclaimed human rights activist and her dodgy organisation, both of whom had been spreading lies about Dubai and maligning its image.
The micro-blogging website on Saturday suspended the accounts of Briton Radha Stirling and her London-based organisation Detained in Dubai for violating Twitter rules.
Detained in Dubai claims to campaign for changes in the legal system in the UAE, but routinely bad mouths Dubai in western media and in social media posts.
Just last week, it tweeted the link of an interview in which CEO Radha Stirling called Dubai "the most treacherous place on earth to do business".
It’s not immediately clear what led to the suspension of the Twitter accounts of Stirling, but many reckon the move is linked to Stirling's controversial stance over the arrest of a 23-year-old British air hostess and her boyfriend in Dubai on drug charges.
A popular British tabloid recently quoted Stirling as saying that Dubai Police is not allowing the air hostess to communicate with anyone from the outside.
“They are not letting her make phone calls, she has been completely cut off in the police station,” Stirling claimed in the news report.
Another British tabloid said that the air hostess was suffering from septic tonsilitis and could even die due to a lack of medical attention after Stirling expressed her fears on Twitter.
None of this is true. The suspect’s lawyer Bader Ahmed, who visited her in Al Barsha jail to get a power of attorney signed, said she was in good health and not suffering from any ailment.
“I don’t know why they (the British media) are spinning these tales based on the canards spread by Radha who clearly has an agenda against Dubai,” said Ahmed, a legal consultant at Shayama Saif Alshehi Advocates and Legal Consultancy.
In her July 7 post, Sterling had tweeted how her legal team had been helping the flight attendant.
However, a Gulf News probe shows she has nothing to do with the case. Lawyer Ahmed said he was convinced Stirling was using her client as ”front” to make money on the sly.
Shortly after the arrest of the air hostess in a drug bust by Dubai Police on June 21, a person by the name of Anthony Shakur posted a legal document on the suspect’s Facebook page. The lawyer fee agreement showed that Abu Dhabi-based Shayama Saif Al Shehi Advocates and Legal Consultancy had been hired for $50,000 (Dh183,900) to defend the suspect.
The law firm never got any money. Instead, the Facebook post was deleted as well as the account of the mysterious Anthony Shakur. Gulf News has managed to retrieve these posts.
Ahmed Bader said he got a call from a certain Anthony Shakur asking his firm to represent the air hostess.
“He claimed he was a family friend and offered to pay $20,000 upfront. In fact, he even sent me a bogus receipt of the purported wire transfer. Before I could find out that it was fake, Radha Stirling also contacted me from the UK saying she had spoken to Shakur and was helping to get legal aid for the flight attendant’s family,” Ahmed told Gulf News on Saturday.
“Now I have realised that they are not just pathetic liars, but also fraudsters. Both Radha and Shakur have disappeared. I reckon they don’t need me because they have got what they wanted. I suspect they raised a huge amount of money in the name of raising a legal fee for the air hostess besides profiting from peddling fake stories in British media,” said Bader.
“Initially the British media would call me relentlessly, but when I showed them the true face of Radha and Shakur and told them what they were printing were all lies, they went quiet. Apparently it doesn’t suit their narrative anymore,” he said.