The man in this video, seen torturing an Afghani businessman, is none other than Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates. On Jan. 10 2010, he was acquitted in an Emirati court for the incident. The court ruled that "he was not responsible (...) the sheikh was under the influence of drugs (medicine) that left him unaware of his actions". Five others, including two Americans, were sentenced for the torture.
This 45-minute video was reportedly made at Sheikh Issa's request. The images are horrific scenes of torture inflicted on Mohammed Shah Poor, an Afghan businessman, accused of not providing the exact quantity of grain demanded by the prince. Policemen in uniform pin Poor to the floor as the sheikh uses an automatic rifle, whips, electric cattle prods, wooden planks with protruding nails and even his Mercedes SUV to torture his victim.
Bassam Nabulsi, a Lebanese-American businessman who worked for the sheikh for many years, released this video in mid-April. The incident occurred in 2004 or 2005. Nabulsi engaged a lawsuit against his former employer in the United States.
Nabulsi says he was also tortured by UAE police for three months and imprisoned (April to June 2005) after he refused to turn in the tape.
In a statement to ABC News, which aired the video on April 22, the UAE interior ministry — led by Saif bin Zayed al Nahyan, also one of Sheikh Issa's brothers — said it had reviewed the tape and found "all rules and procedures were correctly followed by the police".
On April 30, Abu Dhabi's government, worried about its tarnished image abroad and about the video endangering deals on civil nuclear energy with the United States and France, condemned the sheikh's sadistic act.
Most of our Observers in the region refused to comment on the subject. We also contacted local human rights experts, lawyers and journalists. No one wants to comment against the royal family. This is not surprising, because according to Human Rights Watch, Abu Dhabi's media law, article 32, provides for a fine of up to a million euros against any journalist who defames government ministers or members of the royal family.
"There is only one law: their law"
"Sarah" is a foreigner living in the United Arab Emirates. She accepted to speak us under condition of anonymity.
This whole incident is ridiculous, he's twisted!
The royal family can do what it likes. For these people, foreigners are from a 'lower race', and at times they even consider them to be animals. Indians, Afghans, Pakistanis and Filipinos have been created to serve them. This isn't the first time, but no one will ever face trial.
This country is very safe and everyone abides by the law. But where the royal family is concerned, there is only one law: their law.
According to uaetorture.com, this photo was taken at the Four Seasons hotel in Houston, Texas, where the sheikh spent two months per year before 2005.
Sheikh Issa in the office in one of his employees in Dubai. Photo posted on uaetorture.com.
Sheikh Issa at the Four Seasons hotel. Photo posted on uaetorture.com.
Video extracts - warning: the images may be disturbing