UAE court vacates death sentence handed down to Israeli convicted of drug trafficking

Fidaa Kiwan. (Courtesy)
Fidaa Kiwan. (Courtesy)

An Abu Dhabi court has vacated the death sentence given to an Israeli citizen, accepting an appeal from her attorney after she was convicted of drug trafficking.

Fidaa Kiwan will instead receive a prison sentence, Hebrew media reports.

Kiwan has instisted the drugs she was caught with were not hers, but rather belonged to the owner of an apartment where she had been staying.

The United Arab Emirates is known for its strict anti-drug laws, with those convicted of drug trafficking facing a possible death sentence. However, the death sentences are not rigorously enforced in many cases and tend to be converted into heavy prison sentences.

Kiwan, a 43-year-old Haifa resident who owns a photography studio, came to Dubai for work at the invitation of a Palestinian acquaintance a year ago. She was arrested a short while later, on March 17, 2021, after a search of her apartment turned up the drugs. She has remained behind bars since.

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