UAE may stop deporting expat addicts

The UAE is considering stopping the deportation of expatriates convicted of taking drugs provided they have stayed in the country for at least 15 successive years, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

A police committee tasked with the evaluation of counter-drug measures in the UAE made the recommendation in a report presented to the competent authorities for a decision, the Dubai-based Arabic language daily ‘Al Bayan’ said.

The committee also proposed that expatriate drug addicts should be treated in the UAE on par with Emiratis and that courts should issue alternative sentences against defendants, including community service.

“The new recommendation includes the abolition of deportation penalties against expatriate drug addicts who have stayed in the UAE for at least 15 successive years.

“It also includes treatment of foreign drug addicts in the UAE on par with Emiratis.”

The report said the committee also suggested that courts should introduce alternative sentences against persons convicted of taking drugs.

“The committee proposed the introduction of alternative court sentences in drug cases.
“This includes easing the present punishment in certain cases and replacing it with sentences involving community service by the defendant.”

The report said judges should also take “pre-emptive” decisions including compulsory treatment of addicts whether they are convicted or acquitted.

“The report stressed that drug addicts must be treated whether they are convicted or acquitted by court. They must not be left without treatment as they need it.”

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