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United Arab Emirates: Imprisonment and flogging for marriage across faiths: the case of Elie Dib Ghaleb

, Index number: MDE 25/003/1997

Elie Dib Ghaleb, a 30-year-old Christian Lebanese national has been sentenced to 39 lashes and one year's imprisonment reportedly solely for having married a Muslim woman. He was arrested on 5 December 1995 and detained until 29 October 1996 when he was tried by a Shari'a court in al'Ain and sentenced. He is reported to have been beaten many times since his arrest and is said to be suffering from high blood pressure, for which he was hospitalized twice for treatment. Amnesty International considers him to be a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned solely on religious grounds and is calling for his immediate and unconditional release. He has spent over a year in prison and at the time of writing, remained in detention at al-'Ain Central Prison. It is not known whether the sentence of flogging has been carried out.

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