A link to the petition can be found at the bottom of this page. Here’s Sean Emmet’s story.
Former Grand Prix, Superbike and BSB rider Sean Emmett remains stranded in Dubai seven long months after his wife fell to her death from their hotel room in the city back in February.
Though it made the news at the time due to his profile, he was almost immediately confirmed to have played no role in the sad event and the local authorities treated Abbie’s death while they were on honeymoon as an suicide – Emmett has always said it was instead an accident – with the Dubai police also noting there were no suspicious circumstances.
Mr Emmett, winner of 19 British Superbike events, including his legendarily close win over Troy Bayliss in 199 at Oulton ark (winning by just 0.001s), was arrested when visiting a Dubai police station to complete paperwork necessary to release the body of his wife. His passport was confiscated at this time and he was fined 2,000 Dirham (approx £350) for allegedly drinking alcohol without a license.
He was arrested though the alcohol had been legally consumed the night before in their hotel room but when he was tested at the police station 28 micrograms of alcohol were still present in his breath sample, below the legal limit in most countries – including the UK, but illegal for anyone in public in Dubai, which he was now deemed to be.
The racer was then locked up for four days.
On his release he states he was initially handed his seized passport back, only to have it taken back before he could leave after the officer dealing with him received a phone call.
His lawyers and the British Consulate have had no explanation for this, nor why his documents are still being held while they claim to be investigating further.
The Foreign Office say they cannot interfere with the UAE’s legal process.
Emmett, 43, has reportedly spent his life savings paying for accommodation in Dubai as the retention of his passport prevents him from returning home. He is currently living with an expatriate couple who kindly gave him a roof over his head. He has missed all three of his children’s birthdays this year and has closed his motorbike taxi bike business to raise funds.
Previous cases illustrate that Sean Emmett may have a way to go before he is free to return home:
- Radio 1 DJ ‘Grooverider’ was given a 4 year sentence in 2007 for cannabis possession. He was released and pardoned after 10 months.
- Property tycoon Peter Margetts received a huge 23-year sentence for writing cheques which later bounced.
- Businessman Simon Andrews was alleged to have stuck his middle finger up at a student he argued with, breaking the UAE’s strict public decency laws. Though he denied the charge he had his passport confiscated and was stranded for eight months in Dubai.
- Norwegian Tourist Marte Dalelv dared to report her own rape. She was handed a 16-month sentence. International outcry saw Dalelv freed in July 2013.
- Also in July, three Londoners who were arrested in April for drug offences were pardoned during an Ramadan amnesty. Prime Minister David Cameron had raised the case with the UAE President during his state visit to the UK.
This is why the petition to help Sean Emmett return to the UK is so important. Intervention by the Government would make it easier to have his case heard by the right people.
After just a matter of days the online petition asking the Foreign Office and Commonwealth Office to liaise further with the UAE for Mr. Emmet’s return has had 6,000 + people sign.
To help you can add your signature here: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/55031
(unfortunately as it is a petition direct to our government only UK citizens can sign)
You can keep up with what happens to Sean, or send him a goodwill message via his personal Twitter account @Seany555