UAE sentences Israeli woman to death for drug possession

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
The UAE has sentenced an Israeli woman to death for drug possession. Photo: Caspas Benson.
The UAE has sentenced an Israeli woman to death for drug possession. Photo: Caspas Benson.
Caspar Benson
  • Fidaa Kiwan was arrested after a half a kilogramme of cocaine was found in her Dubai home.
  • Kiwan's family said that she was beaten into confessing that the drugs belonged to her.
  • Her legal team is expected to file an appeal in the coming 30 days. 


The United Arab Emirates has sentenced an Israeli woman to death for drug possession, her lawyer said Tuesday, adding that she would appeal the decision.

Fidaa Kiwan, a 43-year-old Arab Israeli photographer from the northern port city of Haifa, was arrested after half a kilogramme of cocaine was found in her Dubai home last year.

Her family said the drugs did not belong to her, with her brother telling public Israeli broadcaster Kan she was beaten into confessing.

Kiwan's Israeli attorney Tami Ullmann said the team would file an appeal in the coming 30 days.

"Beyond that, we're working with all the authorities, in Israel and the world, to help her," Ullmann told AFP.

The Israeli foreign ministry said it was involved in the case "via the department of Israelis abroad in the consular division and the Israeli representation in the United Arab Emirates."

ALSO READ | Mines kill, injure more than 500 children in Iraq: UN

A friend of Kiwan told AFP that she had been living in the West Bank city of Ramallah prior to Dubai.

"She's a good person and doesn't deserve this," the friend said on condition of anonymity, expressing hope that Israel would rally to help her, as happened when a US-Israeli Jewish woman was convicted in Russia in 2019 for drug possession.

Naama Issachar was released after the involvement of then-premier Benjamin Netanyahu.

When Issachar was jailed, "Israel - not just the government, also the public - did everything until they finally released her," the friend said.

"Let's see what they'll do for Fidaa, and what the Arab Knesset (parliament) members can do."

Israel and the UAE reached a normalisation deal in 2020 as part of a series of US-brokered agreements known as the Abraham Accords.

Trade between the two countries last year totalled some $900 million dollars, according to Israeli figures.


We want to hear your views on the news. Subscribe to News24 to be part of the conversation in the comments section of this article.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Authorities should bring in the army already
10% - 1614 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
53% - 8584 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
34% - 5464 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
3% - 522 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.17
+0.5%
Rand - Pound
19.63
+0.2%
Rand - Euro
16.59
+0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.52
+0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.2%
Gold
1,802.29
0.0%
Silver
20.82
0.0%
Palladium
2,227.50
0.0%
Platinum
966.00
0.0%
Brent Crude
98.15
-1.5%
Top 40
63,996
-1.0%
All Share
70,731
-0.8%
Resource 10
64,048
-2.8%
Industrial 25
86,577
-0.6%
Financial 15
16,059
+0.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE