The family of the American businessman imprisoned in the United Arab Emirates for the past 15 years say he rotted in a ‘dungeon’ prison – suffering from a flesh-eating infection and dying – and claim the US ignored his status as a WNBA star britney greener.
Zack Shahin, 58, was sentenced to 53 years in prison for fraud, embezzlement and other financial crimes. His heartbroken family insists he is innocent and has been illegally detained for false and politically motivated crimes as they continue to desperately fight for his release.
Shaheen’s health has been deteriorating as he battles lung infections and ulcers on his rotting flesh and skin as his family believes he is far worse than they know.Nearly three months ago, his condition became so severe that he was sent to dubai He had several surgeries in the hospital, but none of them were successful.
The family submitted a letter of intercession to the State Department on November 23, 2022, which was sent to the UAE on December 6 after several revisions.
But while this was happening, the Shaheen family was unaware that the United States had been negotiating the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner — who will be released in 2022 after the United States struck a deal with international arms dealer Victor Bout. Released from Russian prison on 8 December – with UAE help facilitating.
Zack Shahin, pictured with his two children, has served 15 years in a Dubai jail. “They totally abandoned us … they completely pushed us aside,” his son Rami told Fox News. “Maybe we’re not newsworthy enough for them — we’re not famous, we’re just a regular guy. Families—they just left us”
On December 8, 2022, Brittney Griner was released from a Russian prison following a prisoner swap deal between the US and international arms dealer Viktor Bout.Swap follows UAE deal after final approval from President Biden
Shaheen’s son Rami told Fox News, “They totally abandoned us … they completely pushed us aside.”
“Maybe we weren’t newsworthy enough for them — we weren’t famous, we were just a normal family — and they just left us,” he said.
Martin Lonergan, a British activist who met Zack when he was in prison, told Fox News it was a “dungeon”, a place where “you are pushed away and forgotten”. .
“He’s rotting,” Langland said. “If you could imagine a person dying from rot … they were cutting off parts of Zack while he was fighting the infection.”
In part, he said: “I’ve never seen such an injustice in my life.”
The Lebanese-born, married father-of-two was a Pepsi truck driver who eventually rose to a Pepsi executive and traveled to the UAE in 2004 after being hired by the UAE’s finance minister and chairman of Dubai Islamic Bank , Deyaar Mohammed Khalfan bin Kharbash.
During his four years as CEO, the $5 million private company became a $1.5 billion public company and the second-largest listed real estate company on the Dubai Stock Exchange.
Zack Shahin, 58, was sentenced to 53 years in prison for fraud, embezzlement and other financial crimes.His heartbroken family insist he is innocent and has been illegally detained for false and politically motivated crimes as they fight desperately for his release
Zack Shahin poses with his wife, whom his son Ramy described as an empty shell because his father was arrested against his will
two years later when The ruler of Dubai died and the political fallout swept through bin Kalbashi, hindering Shaheen’s success and ultimately his freedom.
After resigning from the bank in early March 2008, he was kidnapped by state security and charged with a crime. According to his family, he never committed a crime.
He was detained for 13 months before formal charges were laid against him, his family said. He was released on bail and then spent the next nine years in prison until he was finally convinced in 2017. He was sentenced to 49 years in prison, not including time served.
The family said audits conducted by the Big Four global accounting firms over Deyal’s years as chief executive found no evidence of financial damage or the financial crimes he is accused of.
“My dad was just an average American who started working hard to make a name for himself,” Ramy told Fox News.
“He took over this small real estate company, made it what it is now, and built a lot of what Dubai is famous for. Then they took him down.
According to Detained International, a British organization that provides pro-bono legal services to prisoners, Shaheen is the longest-serving American white-collar prisoner overseas.
A policeman enters Al-Awir Central Jail in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, May 21, 2020.It is unclear whether this is the prison where Shaheen is being held
The family became more hopeful in July when President Biden endorsed an existing hostage recovery law.
The law directs U.S. agencies to communicate more with the families of Americans illegally detained overseas and allows their captors to face sanctions.
However, their request to defend their loved one under the Levinson Act was denied within five days.
“I think the Biden administration and the State Department should look at our case and treat it with more respect,” Lamy said. “Because we’re not even getting anything.”
Human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch, Detained International and the James W. Foley Heritage Foundation have been working to raise awareness of Shaheen’s inhumane and appalling conditions of imprisonment.
However, the groups claim they have received no response from the U.S. government.
His shattered family say they will keep fighting.
“I’m going to keep fighting until he comes out,” Rami said. “If I fail, so be it. But I’ll never let go.