There is an American academic who was attending a conference in the UAE was arrested for taking a picture of a sign banning photography. From the headlines:

Architect Dr Robert Alan Black was lecturing at a conference in Abu Dhabi when he
innocently took a picture of sign banning photography

No one can “innocently” take a photo of a sign banning photography. He
knew the sign was there, he flouted the law, and took the picture
anyway. He broke the law. 

Dr Black
was lecturing at a conference in the city and was thought to have
innocently taken a photo of the strict sign near his hotel on a
walkabout of the embassy district.
appeared to be amused by the sign, and was entirely unaware that it
enforces an ultra-strict code which allows for a five-year sentence for
anyone who breaks no-photography rules.

70-year-old from Athens, GA, was held by police in United Arab  Emirates’ capital
for seven days before a translator alerted his family

OK. And?

Grandfather has been allowed just two snatched phone calls to his worried family
who say he is innocent and just wants to get out

He was allowed to call home twice in the past 2 weeks, which seems to be inconsistent with the implied claim that a translator needed to notify the family because he was being held incommunicado. He isn’t innocent.

Supporters tell MailOnline of fears for health of diabetic academic, who is said
to be losing weight behind bars and cannot afford local lawyer

 So he can’t afford a lawyer? Why did he intentionally break the law then?

Americans travel the world with the attitude that they can ignore the law wherever they go. This is what happens, and why people see us as arrogant.

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1 Comment

Anonymous · November 5, 2014 at 3:35 pm

Yup, there were signs all over the wall surrounding the naval base, next to my hotel when I was there.

The funny thing was, from my hotel balcony, I had a great view into the base, much better than the view of the blank wall surrounding it. And since it was private, I could have taken all the pix I wanted. I didn't though, since I had no interest in UAE naval bases.

We used to consider these sorts of photography bans as a ridiculous sign of a failed state or banana replublic–now we have the same sort of nonsense here at home too.


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