Washington, DC (July 16, 2022) – Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) today vehemently condemned the unjustified detention of prominent Indian-American civil rights attorney Asim Ghafoor by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities and called for his immediate release. Ghafoor serves on the board of Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) and served as a lawyer for slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi as well as his fiance Hatice Cengiz. DAWN has called Ghafoor’s detention a “politically motivated revenge for his association with Khashoggi and DAWN.”
On July 14, Ghafoor, a U.S. citizen, was on his way to Istanbul to attend a family wedding when the security agents at the Dubai International Airport detained him from the transit area and drove him to Abu Dhabi. He remains in the Criminal Investigative Division detention facility, based on an “in absentia” conviction on ludicrous charges of “money laundering.”
Ghafoor runs a law firm in Virginia and has served as an attorney in several high-profile national security and terrorism cases.
“We are extremely concerned about the health and well-being of Mr. Asim Ghafoor and believe this detention is a witch-hunt against Ghafoor for his efforts as an activist for democracy. We call on the UAE authorities to immediately release Ghafoor from detention and send him home to reunite with his family,” said Rasheed Ahmed, Executive Director of IAMC.
IAMC urges the US Department of State to take the matter to the top levels of the UAE government to ensure Ghafoor’s expedited release. We also urge President Joe Biden to raise this issue directly with UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
(c) Indian American Muslim Council, 2022.