Theresa May, put pressure on Dubai authorities to release British-Australian fundraiser

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Theresa May, put pressure on Dubai authorities to release British-Australian fundraiser

This petition had 441 supporters

SOFII started this petition to Theresa May

Scott Richards, a British-Australian volunteer fundraiser has been charged by Dubai authorities for “fundraising without permission”. His crime? Sharing a link on Facebook to promote a fundraising campaign for Afghan child refugees. In what world is wanting to raise money for needy children considered a prison-worthy offence? Dubai, apparently, and Scott now faces a potential sentence of up to a year.

The Guardian's Amelia Hill writes:

"A man with joint British and Australian citizenship could spend a year in jail in Dubai after posting a link on his Facebook page to a US charity raising funds for blankets and socks for refugee children in Afghanistan. Scott Richards, an economic development adviser from Adelaide, was arrested on 28 July and held for 22 days at Al Muraqqabat police station before being charged on Friday under a new law banning “fundraising without permission”. The post he shared was a link to a campaign by the Zwan Family Charity to raise funds for new tarpaulins, blankets, warm clothes and socks and sleeping bags for children at the Chahari Qambar refugee camp on the outskirts of Kabul. More than 100 children froze to death at the camp four years ago. Richards, who grew up in Australia, was living with his wife and two sons in Dubai when he fell foul of a strict new law prohibiting the operation of any charity not registered in the United Arab Emirates. The 42-year-old could now be sentenced to a prison term of between two months and one year, and a fine of up to 100,000 dirhams (£20,000)."

We're calling on the Prime Minister, Theresa May, to personally intervene to get Scott released. Fundraising for worthy causes should never be a crime.

Update: Scott has been released on conditional bail, thanks to international pressure. However, he still faces a trial and potential prison sentence, so please keep signing!

Petition Closed

This petition had 441 supporters