American lawyer released from custody in UAE

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 American lawyer released from detention in UAE

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U.S. citizen and civil rights lawyer Asim Ghafoor, who was convicted this week in the United Arab Emirates on charges of money laundering, has been released from custody and sent home to the United States, his lawyer said Friday.< br />
Ghafoor was released after paying a fine, lawyer Faisal Gill said, adding that the US Embassy in the UAE facilitated his release.

On Wednesday, a court upheld Gafoor's earlier sentencing in absentia, ordering him to pay a fine, but overturning a three-year prison sentence imposed in May.

Gafur, who lives in Virginia, was transiting through Dubai airport on July 14 when he was detained in connection with a conviction in absentia in May for money laundering and tax evasion.

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U.S. officials said the arrest was not at the request of Washington.

Media reports in the United States state that Ghafoor has been under U.S. surveillance in the past because of his work representing American Muslims in civil cases. rights.

The trial in absentia and his detention last month while US President Joe Biden was visiting the region drew criticism from human rights groups and some members of Congress.

Ghafoor's supporters say he was denied due process and was unaware of the charges prior to his arrest.

Some have also suggested that the arrest may be politically motivated, citing his ties to a Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed by Saudi agents in Turkey in 2018, and to work with human rights groups critical of the UAE.

financial crimes.

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