top of page
Detained in Doha is considered the international authority on Middle East law. We consult to governments internationally on Middle Eastern legal issues and assist media outlets in the provision of information from our central repository of statistics and data.
We have a team and network of highly experienced advocates, consultants, and negotiators to assist you or your company with legal matters, whether you are in the Qatar or abroad.
Our top priority is helping clients secure the best possible outcome to complex Middle Eastern legal issues, regardless of how the odds are stacked against them.
Interpol & Extradition
The UAE has issued the most Interpol red notices per head of population than any other member country. Learn more about Interpol abuse.
READ MORE >
Bounced cheques, fraud, embezzlement, breach of trust, mortgage defaults and general debt.
Property Developer Matt Joyce was found innocent by Courts in Australia and yet is still detained in the UAE, awaiting justice.
READ MORE >
Press Releases & News
Detained in Doha - Qatar human rights violations liable to be sued in UK
Qatari companies and individuals who believe they can get away with “whatever they want,” will see themselves paying the price and legally accountable in the UK. When foreigners move to Qatar, it’s usually on the basis of an invitation, a business opportunity or a job. Doha doesn’t have the same “lifestyle appeal” that Dubai has built up; but for expats, a few years in a hot climate, perhaps with a Sheraton club membership, doesn’t sound all that bad. Most invites are extended to industry experts, particularly in the construction industry, project managers, architects, lawyers and directors. With a commitment to growth, Qatar offers a great number of opportunities to those willing to do a few years in the gulf and of course, can be an attractive alternative to those who were forced to leave Dubai during the world economic crisis and who can not return. Qatar’s gulf neighbours have attracted so much negative international press coverage for their own violations and blockading Qatar seemed to cause the international community to feel more sympathetic towards the country, perhaps even seeing it as more Western leaning. Qatar has not been ridiculed for jailing tourists like the UAE has. So why not pursue that opportunity? Three men have become the voice of hundreds; Brits Jonathan Nash, Ranald Crook and Australian Joseph Sarlak. The consistency amongst these (public) cases is clear evidence that Qatar is an unsafe place for foreigners to work or invest in. Until these men are freed and safeguards put in place to ensure cases like theirs will not be repeated; the climate will remain dangerous in Doha. Locals in gulf nations have seen foreign investors as “prey”. Foreigners come into the country, bringing their experience and often, a substantial financial investment and join forces with a local partner who becomes their sponsor. The relationship is symbiotic, allowing the expat to reside in the country and do business, working with a partner who understands the local environment. Perhaps, they understand it a little too well. They understand that when a business becomes successful, they can either share with their partner as per their agreement or they can take it all for themselves. They understand that they can embezzle company funds and have their partner jailed for bouncing the cheques when they invariably bounce due to lack of funds. In short, they understand that as a local, they can work the system to their financial advantage, whatever the cost is to the unsuspecting expat. As soon as the judicial system allows for its manipulation by a portion of society, it becomes an almost too tempting opportunity. It seems impossible to achieve justice in gulf nations, at least easily. For those who know how to manipulate gulf legal systems and for those who are willing, it has been a fraudsters paradise. Money laundering, gold frauds, real estate and property development schemes. The governments themselves and the royal families have been exploiting the archaic environment, setting a fine example to their subjects to follow suit. But the cycle of unaccountability can only be short lived. Where there is exploitation and abuse as in history, people will seek and find a way to end it. As the gulf grows, they have sought to invest abroad, particularly in the UK and US. In fact, BBC said in 2017 that Qatar owns more of London than the queen with an estimated 40 billion invested into real estate, banks, hotels, businesses and newspapers. With Qatar’s investment into the UK, comes their litigation risk. While Qataris may feel invincible in their own jurisdiction, most are probably not aware that those who they have jailed, detained or stolen from, can sue them in England or the US. Legal abuse, fraud and wrongful imprisonment suffered by expats in Qatar, can be heard in Western courtrooms where the consequences for Qataris can be severe. Qatar banks can also find themselves on the other end of litigation for wrongfully reporting debtors to Interpol. Once victims start seeing a path to justice and once assailants realise they could be liable outside of Qatar, they may think twice about abusing their local system, even if they are able to do so at the time. The Qatari government needs to create a safe environment for investors and expats who are contributing enormously to Qatar’s growth. The cases of Joseph Sarlak, Jonathan Nash and Ranald Crook will be reviewed by the United Nations Working Group for Arbitrary Detentions in Geneva which we hope will encourage the Qatari government to finally review the cases of these innocent men, and put safeguards in place to protect foreigners in the future.
Radha Stirling Showreel, Criminal & Civil Justice Specialist & CEO of Detained in Dubai
Radha Stirling is a leading human rights advocate, crisis manager and policy consultant, focusing on the UAE and the wider Middle East. She is the founder and CEO of British based organisation Detained in Dubai and its subsidiaries, (which have helped thousands of victims of injustice over the past twelve years+). In 2010, she expanded her work to include countries throughout the Gulf region; dealing with both civil and criminal cases. She has provided expert witness testimony in several high profile extradition and arbitration cases, while lobbying for Interpol reform. Given her breadth of experience in financial disputes, Ms Stirling also provides expert risk assessment for investors and advice on business strategies in the Gulf. She has actively negotiated on behalf of corporate clients and investors, assisted in recovering stolen assets, and intervened to secure their freedom from unlawful detention. Ms Stirling frequently appears in international media to discuss human rights and legal issues in the Middle East. She recently addressed the United Nations and worked closely with Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Ms Stirling has provided policy advice to both the Australian and British governments, and is a frequently invited speaker on foreign policy issues related to the Gulf states and broader region. Her high-profile media campaigns and legal work have influenced the release of countless high profile prisoners in the UAE, notably David Oliver, Richard Lau, Ellie Holman, Matt Joyce and Marcus Lee, Safi Qurashi, Scott Richards, Conrad Clitheroe, Gary Cooper, Farzan Athari, Billy Barclay, Jamie Harron, André Gauthier in the Gold AE fraud, and Laleh Shahravesh. Ms Stirling publishes regular articles and reports, often covering human rights issues, political prisoners, Middle Eastern finance and debt laws, social media laws, cybercrime laws and Interpol red notice abuse. Radha has worked extensively at parliament level and closely with Senators and MP’s. Her work at Australian Parliament ensured provisions to safeguard citizens against human rights violations were included in their extradition treaty with the UAE. Stirling acted for HRH Sheikha Latifa Bin Rashid Al Maktoum which lead to a United Nations investigation into her disappearance from a US yacht in international waters. Stirling delivered a speech at a Frontiers of Freedom conference in November 2018, focussing largely on the increased influence of Saudi Arabia and the UAE into American politics and media, questioning whether these US “allies” are acting in the best interests of the States. Since founding Detained in Dubai in 2008, she has held various senior roles in law firms in the Middle East and was most recently described by Daily Beast as running "an extraordinarily slick - and convincing - PR campaign ostensibly designed to free her [Princess Latifa]".
Radha Stirling's Gulf in Justice Podcast - Detained in Dubai founder discusses gulf news & issues
Gulf in Justice expert Radha Stirling, founder of Detained in Dubai and Due Process International to discuss gulf news, politics and law in new podcast "Gulf in Justice". #RadhaStirling #GulfinJustice #DetainedinDubai
Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai launches Podcast "Gulf in Justice"
Coming soon ⭐️ Detained in Dubai's Gulf In Justice Podcast with Radha Stirling. 🎥 There is a gulf in justice, the concept of justice, the pursuit of justice, and systems of justice; a serious chasm between how we understand and approach these things and how they are dealt with in the UAE and broader Gulf and Middle East region. Bridging that gulf has been our work for over 12 years. #gulfinjustice #radhastirling #detainedindubai #dubai #uae #qatar #saudi
Extradition expert Radha Stirling Live on Scottish man detained in Greece over Qatar Interpol notice
Radha Stirling, extradition and interpol expert, issued a statement regarding Conor Howard; "A young Scottish man has been detained in Greece and is facing possible extradition to Qatar over an alleged offence which Qatar already chose not to prosecute. Conor Howard was on his way home from Australia last year when his flight transited in Doha; when his luggage was checked by authorities they discovered a cannabis grinder. Conor was detained for around 6 hours in Qatar as a result, but ultimately released and allowed to fly home. Bizarrely, however, Qatar then issued a warrant for his arrest. Upon flying to Greece to visit family this past weekend, Greek authorities were alerted of the arrest warrant, and threw Conor in jail. He has a bail hearing later today, but it appears that Conor is to face extradition proceedings that might see him deported to Qatar to face charges – charges for which Qatar already released him last year. Relations between Qatar and Greece have been strengthening in recent years, with significant steps taken to increase private-sector collaboration, as the ailing Greek economy seeks Gulf investment. This is concerning, as clearly Conor would be subjected to a legal system that falls far below international standards of due process, and human rights violations are well documented in Qatar’s detention centres. Mutual economic interests must not be allowed to supersede human rights protections and respect for the rule of law. Obviously, Conor has not committed a crime, and that was even determined to be the case at the time of his initial detention. It is absurd that Qatar would issue an arrest warrant for an individual they themselves released from custody. This alone illustrates the chaotic and arbitrary nature of the legal system, not just in Qatar but throughout the Gulf. It is a mistake for Greece to even entertain extradition requests from a country like Qatar, which is one of the leading international abusers of Interpol and systems of extradition, as well as a country with endemic human rights abuse. Pursuing extradition in a case like Conor’s is a waste of the court’s time and taxpayer’s money, and obviously, a completely unnecessary torment for this young man who has done nothing wrong whatsoever."