Tourist arrested in the UAE for using his recorder


Published: 2017-11-27 13:15

Last Updated: 2024-07-10 07:09

Abu Dhabi International Airport (The National)
Abu Dhabi International Airport (The National)

An American tourist has been arrested in Abu Dhabi for filming airport security after he was allegedly mistreated by staff, the National reported.

Fifty-nine year-old Joseph Lee was arrested at security in Abu Dhabi International Airport when he started filming on his phone.

Lee’s son, Jonathan, said his father had been filming his mistreatment by airport security staff.

“I believe he began recording because they were treating him unfairly, in a rude manner, and in Abu Dhabi that's a pretty big criminal offence and I believe that's why he was detained,” Jonathan told local news.

Lee has been fined Dh 10,000 (about JOD 1,940) and will be deported once his fine has been paid.

Lee and his son were transferring in Abu Dhabi on their way back to the US from Bangkok.

Earlier in October, another American was arrested for taking pictures of restricted areas, the National reported.

Robert Alan Black, 70, was fined Dh500 (about JOD 96.50), according to The Local, a Swiss news site.

According to Black, filming in restricted areas can result in a prison sentence of of 3 months or a fine of up to Dh5,000 (about JOD 965)
“In most of the areas, like public areas, there is a sign that you cannot take a photo,” he said.

Ahmad Said, chief of Dubai Civil Court, said arrests like these are not very common.

In a separate incident, two Swiss journalists were arrested in November while filming in an outdoor market, according to Swiss public broadcaster RTS.

But the United Arab Emirates denied the arrest after the opening of the Louvre in Abu Dhabi and said they were stopped and questioned only.

Taking photographs at airports, especially security stations is prohibited in many countries, however, filming in public places in the UAE is not.

Several arrests across the UAE were reported over the offense of filming or taking photographs.

Jonathon says his father had no ill intentions, and that the family just wants him back home safe.