The family of an American held in the United Arab Emirates for the past 15 years wants the Biden administration to do for Zack Shahin what it did for Brittney Griner a month ago.
The family said that not only was Shahin unfairly detained, his condition has rapidly worsened as the Biden administration turns a deaf ear to their pleas to have him released.
“I feel like the fact that the United Arab Emirates helped broker the deal for Griner’s release was kind of a slap in the face to my family and I. And they gave my father’s case… not an ounce of respect,” Ramy Shahin, the prisoner’s son, told Fox News Sunday.
“He’s an American citizen that’s been abandoned by the Biden administration as well as the State Department. Nobody has answered our plea for help, and then seeing Brittney Griner get all the attention… maybe we’re not famous enough. We’re just an ordinary American family, and they completely ignored us,” he said.
— Ankara Voice (@AnkaraVoice) January 14, 2023
In 2008, Zack Shahin was “kidnapped at gunpoint by the Dubai state, and forced onto an Emirates plane. There was no court order, no extradition, no Interpol notice, an unlawful armed kidnap by the Dubai state of an innocent American citizen, without a court order or extradition document,” the family posted on a website where they have outlined the case.
The family has rejected the allegations of fraud that led to his imprisonment.
Although the family has been trying to free Zack Shahin for years, their efforts have been redoubled due to fears he may not live much longer.
Do you think Biden actually cares about Americans?
Yes: 0% (0 Votes)
No: 100% (167 Votes)
“Zach is dying… I don’t know how much longer he’ll last,” Martin Lonergan, a former prisoner with Shahin, said. “His mental health is failing. He’s trying to take his own life several times recently. His conditions are so harsh. It’s a wonderful, amazing place for the five-star hotels, but down the road, there is a hell that you cannot imagine.”
The British activist told Fox News Shahin “is rotting.”
“If you can imagine a man is dying because he’s rotting … they’re cutting bits of Zack away, and he’s dying trying to fight the infection,” he said, adding that the prison where Shahin is jailed, and where he spent 10 months “is where you are pushed away to be forgotten about.”
In discussing Shahin’s case, he said, “I have never in my life witnessed such injustice.”
“To have the letters pushed back and sat on for days and weeks while the UAE was obviously helping America negotiate Brittney Griner’s released — it’s obvious that the department did not want to antagonize the UAE during this diplomatic process,” Lonergan said.
In his Sunday interview with Fox News, Ramy Shahin said his father’s imprisonment was “an inconvenience to the U.S.”
“When they were working with the United Arab Emirates and Russia to negotiate Brittney Griner’s release, I feel like they thought, ‘Let’s not mention Zack Shahin while we’re working to get her out, because it might not go right with them,’” he said.
Aida Dagher, Zack Shahin’s sister-in-law, said the family has received “neglect and ignorance from the State Department, from the Biden administration.”
She said the family has tried to follow every process to release Zack Shahin, to no avail.
“There is complete silence. We are demanding answers. Why was he denied? President Biden promised to take care of wrongfully detained Americans. He is very much wrongfully detained,” she said.