Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Common sense prevails?

Here's a news item from the BBC:

"A man jailed in the United Arab Emirates after cannabis weighing less than a sugar grain was found on the sole of his shoe has spoken out.

Andrew Brown, 43, from Smethwick, West Midlands was jailed for four years in December but was pardoned last week by the head of Dubai's prison system."


I think only the Ruler can grant a pardon, but that may just be a detail they got wrong.

It seems the story was broken by 7Days but I can't find it in any of our other papers. A few international news outlets have carried it - Sky News and International Herald Tribune both quote 7Days while the BBC seem to be carrying their own story.

Assuming it's true, it's a very sensible decision - for Andrew Brown and for Dubai's reputation.

We're taking a bit of a hammering internationally over the jailing of people for taking Codeine or for having a couple of poppy seeds from a bread roll on their clothing, and in this case for having trodden on something. I posted about that a week or so ago.

I don't have a problem with strict drug laws but I do object to them being taken to these ridiculous extremes. I can't believe it was the intention of the lawmakers for them to be interpreted in this way and for the jailing of innocent people.

Maybe our new Minister of Justice will look into what's been happening. It would seem to need an explanation of the laws and what was intended by them to be sent to everyone involved, from Customs to the courts.

The stories are here:

7Days.

IHT.

Sky.

BBC.

And while I'm talking about the law and courts, there was another interesting item that caught my eye.

A while ago the police said they were going to crack down on illegal tinting of car windows. Well, they've started the crackdown and it's on their own personnel!

According to the story, more than 50 police employees have been fined for having tinting above the 30% limit. Major Saif Al Mazroui, Acting Deputy Director of Dubai Police's Traffic Department, said the aim of the campaign is to alert Dubai Police employees that they have to be role models for others and abide by the rule.

I'd like to see that sentiment expanded to cover drivers of police cars too - I see far too many of them breaking traffic laws and rules. Talking on mobile phones, speeding, sitting in the wrong lane...

The story is here.

3 comments:

alexander said...

Seeing the original shoe story, I did wonder how on earth any customs officer goes about finding this amount of a substance on a traveller.

It did all seem very odd....

Grumpy Goat said...

I read in the Gulf News that the list of offences and draconian punishments doesn't apply to government vehicles.

Which presumably is why Al Dixon of Dock Green whizzed by me up the inside on the Emirates Road, no seatbelt, over the speed limit (I was doing 120kph), and with his phone stuck to his ear.

Seabee said...

That's another confirmation of what I said in my last paragraph Mr Goat. I read that exemption for government vehicles with some bewilderment too...