Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Do you want to guess if diplomatic pressure works?

"The move followed the broadcast of a video alleging to show Sheikh Issa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a half brother of Abu Dhabi’s ruler and the United Arab Emirates’ president, severely beating the Afghan and driving over his body.

"A senior member of the ruling family has never been publicly detained before in Abu Dhabi. The footage has damaged the reputation of Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich capital of the UAE, and raised questions about the rule of law in the Gulf nation, while also threatening to complicate a nuclear deal between it and the US."


"The incident leading to Sheikh Issa’s detention allegedly took place in late 2004 but resurfaced last month when the video was broadcast on ABC News. The allegations were made by Bassam Nabulsi, a US citizen and former business associate of the sheikh who is suing him in the US over a separate business deal.

"The claims came as the Obama administration was reviewing a Bush-era deal that would permit civilian nuclear trade with the Gulf nation and have prompted some Congressmen to question whether that should go ahead. The UAE announced plans last year to set up a civilian nuclear programme to meet rising energy demand. The deal with the US was negotiated by the Bush administration shortly before it left office."

The next, more telling step will be to see if a usually protected person, a shaykh, is actually punished as opposed to inconvenienced and embarrassed a bit.

For the gruesome video see this post.

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