DETERIORATING IN DUBAI: Household of American sent to prison in UAE states United States deserted him for Brittney Griner


Zack Shahin has actually decayed– actually decayed– in a Dubai jail for 15 years.

The intense fluorescent lights are constantly on in the concrete cell the American person show to 60 various other detainees. The loud ac unit runs 24-hour a day. The air perspires, chilly and also scents like rotting flesh.

Zack rests on a plastic cushion with a filthy covering and also in garments that have actually never ever been cleaned. Detainees are hardly ever blurt of their cells.

His household preserves his virtue.

Yet Zack– unwell, sleep-deprived and also starving– shed the will to live years ago.



” He is decaying,” Martin Lonergan, a British protestor that fulfilled Zack behind bars, informed Fox Information. “If you can think of a guy is passing away since he’s decaying … they’re reducing littles Zack away, and also he’s passing away attempting to combat the infection.”

Nearly 3 months back, Zack’s problem ended up being so alarming he was transferred to a Dubai hospital where he had several not successful surgical procedures.

In a last effort to obtain Zack residence, his household sent grace letters to the State Division on Nov. 23. The Shahins went back and also forth with State Division authorities for virtually 2 weeks, changing their letters till they were lastly sent out to the United Arab Emirates on Dec. 6.

The Shahins really did not understand it, however the united state was all at once working out the launch of WNBA star Brittney Griner, which the UAE assisted help with.

” They entirely deserted us … they entirely pressed us sideways,” Ramy Shahin, Zack’s boy, informed Fox Information. “Possibly we’re not relevant sufficient for them– we’re not renowned, we’re simply a normal household– and also they simply left us.”

‘ They simply took him down’

Zack, a Lebanese citizen that transferred to Texas when he was 5, functioned as a Pepsi vehicle chauffeur in Houston. Ultimately, he functioned his means approximately come to be an exec at the firm.

In 2004, Zack was hired to the UAE by Mohammed Khalfan container Kharbash, the nation’s preacher of financing and also chairman of the Dubai Islamic Financial institution. He was made chief executive officer of a property growth company the financial institution had, Deyaar. Over the following 4 years, the $5 million personal company ended up being a $1.5 billion openly traded firm, and also the second-largest openly traded property firm on the Dubai Stock Market.

Yet when Dubai’s leader passed away in 2006, the political results swallowed up container Kharbash and disrupted Zack’s success, according to his household. He surrendered from Deyaar in very early March 2008.

On March 23, Zack, then-43, was called right into a bookkeeping conference. There, he was abducted by state safety, Zack’s household stated. After 17 days in singular arrest, he was offered the police headquarters and also detained on fees of scams, embezzlement and also various other economic criminal offenses– criminal offenses his household states are incorrect and also politically determined.

Zack Shahin, 59, has been illegally detained in a Dubai prison for 15 years for crimes he did not commit, his family said. 

Zack Shahin, 59, has actually been unlawfully restrained in a Dubai jail for 15 years for criminal offenses he did not dedicate, his household stated..
( Thanks To the Shahin household)


His household stated he was restrained for 13 months prior to official fees were submitted versus him. Besides a brief launch on bond, Zack invested the following 9 years behind bars prior to he was lastly encouraged in 2017. He was punished to 49 years, which really did not consist of time offered.

His household urges he is innocent. The large 4 worldwide book-keeping companies examined Deyaar for the years Zack was chief executive officer and also located no economic losses or proof of the financial crimes he was charged of, according to the Shahins.

” My daddy’s simply a normal American individual that began striving to go far for himself,” Ramy informed Fox Information. “He took this little property firm and also made it what it ended up being and also developed a lot of what Dubai is understood for. And afterwards they simply took him down.”

‘ My daddy has no hope’

Now 58, Zack is the longest-serving American white-collar detainee overseas, according to Detained International, a British company that offers done for free lawful solutions to detainees.

A number of companies, consisting of Civil rights Watch, Detained International and also the James W. Foley Tradition Structure, have tried to raise awareness of Zack’s jail time for many years however have not obtained an action from the united state federal government.

” I’m mosting likely to maintain combating till he ventures out,” Ramy stated. “And also if I stop working, after that so be it. Yet I’ll never ever allow this go.”

Zack's mental and physical health have deteriorated greatly while in prison. His family said he won't survive much longer. 

Zack’s psychological and also physical health and wellness have actually weakened substantially while behind bars. His household stated he will not make it through a lot longer..
( Thanks To the Shahin household)

Zack struggles with a host of health and wellness problems, consisting of an infection in his lungs and also decaying flesh and also skin sores. The Shahins believe his problem is even worse than they understand considering that they have actually never ever seen his clinical documents.

Lonergan, the Brit that fulfilled Zack while incarcerated, contrasted the jail to a dungeon.

” It is where you are pressed away to be ignored,” he stated.


Lonergan, that benefits Detained International, invested 10 months sent to prison with Zack start in 2020. He initially observed the American via benches of his very own cell from throughout the hall. In spite of the extent of Zack’s physical conditions, Lonergan stated his psychological health and wellness is “much, much even worse.”

” I did have discussions with Zack, and also there’s times when you can see a twinkle of light in his eyes when he speaks about his tale,” Lonergan stated. “A lot of what I have actually found is from study from when I went out.”

” I have never ever in my life saw such oppression,” he included.

The Shahins had some hope after Head of state Biden signed an executive order in July strengthening an existing captive recuperation regulation. It routed united state firms to connect much more with family members of Americans illegally restrained abroad and also enabling their captors to encounter assents.

Martin Lonergan, who spent 279 days in the Dubai prison with Zack, said he lost a third of his body weight and developed a heart condition due to the inhumane conditions. 

Martin Lonergan, that invested 279 days in the Dubai jail with Zack, stated he shed a 3rd of his body weight and also established a heart disease as a result of the savage problems..
( Thanks To Martin Lonergan)

However, their ask for advocacy for Zack under the regulation, the Levinson Act, was refuted within 5 days.

” I believe the Biden management and also the State Division ought to take a look at our situation and also treat it with a bit much more regard,” Ramy informed Fox Information. “Since we have not also been offered any one of that.”

Ramy was 14 when his dad was sent to prison. Currently 30, he talks with his dad on the phone every couple of days.

” My daddy has no hope,” he stated. “It injures me each time I talk with him since he shed hope a very long time back. He’s a covering of what he made use of to be.”

News of his problem led Zack’s household to make one last allure for grace from the UAE royal family.


” All we desire is grace,” Zack’s sister-in-law, Aida Dagher, informed Fox Information. “Someone step, please. Allow this individual fly to the clinical facility in Houston, near to his household, where he can have whatever is left of his life.”

Zack's, son Ramy, said the entire family is still "broken" over their father's imprisonment. 

Zack’s, boy Ramy, stated the whole household is still “damaged” over their dad’s jail time..
( Thanks To the Shahin household)

The State Department consistently asked the Shahins to soften the unsupported claims in their grace letters, e-mails given to Fox Information program. 2 days after the letters were sent out, the information damaged regarding the UAE’s involvement in Griner’s release.

” My daddy’s circumstance was an aggravation to the united state,” Ramy informed Fox Information. “When they were collaborating with the United Arab Emirates and also Russia to discuss Brittney Griner’s launch, I seem like they assumed, ‘allow’s not discuss Zack Shahin while we’re functioning to obtain her out since it could not go right with them.'”

” To have the letters pressed back and also rested on for days and also weeks while the UAE was clearly aiding America discuss Brittney Griner’s launched– it’s noticeable that the division did not intend to annoy the UAE throughout this polite procedure,” Lonergan stated.

The household likewise stated the close partnership in between the united state and also the UAE better disincentives the united state from promoting for Zack.

Zack Shahin still has over 40 years left on his sentence. His family said they don't expect him to survive beyond the next few weeks. 

Zack Shahin still has more than 40 years left on his sentence. His household stated they do not anticipate him to make it through past the following couple of weeks..
( Thanks to Shahin household)

A State Division representative informed Fox Information they are on a regular basis touching the Shahins and also will certainly remain to keep an eye on Zack’s situation and also “give all ideal consular support.”

” We have no higher top priority than the security and also safety of united state residents overseas,” the representative stated. “We take seriously our dedication to aid united state residents abroad and also are supplying all ideal support.”


After 15 years and also three presidential administrations with little to no activity, the household is still afflicted with Zack’s lack each day.

” We’re all damaged,” Ramy stated. “I take a look at my mommy, and also she’s simply hollow … she can not operate.”

” I attempt to place on a front and also act solid for my household and also my daddy, however I seem like I shed a component of myself when he entered there,” he included.

To view the complete meeting with Ramy, Lonergan and also Dagher, click here.


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