A glimmer of hope for Marnie Pearce
I had one of those strange Amnesty moments today when you’re a bit fed up for all the wrong reasons. I was meant to be accompanying our Campaigns Director down to the embassy of the United Arab Emirates to hand in a petition for Marnie Pearce, a British woman jailed in Dubai for adultery who’s facing deportation and the prospect of never seeing her kids again. There was going to be loads of media there as it’s become quite a high-profile case, and all week I’d been talking to Marnie’s supporters, who organised the petition.
But at the last minute the petition hand-in was put on hold. ‘Team Marnie’ had been contacted by the authorities in Dubai and promised that they would review her case, including the issues of custody and deportation. Given the delicate nature of these discussions, they’d decided that it was best to postpone the hand-in of the petition. I’d been on the phone to Dubai for half the morning talking to her supporters about this, so it was hardly a shock, but all the same my first reaction was one if frustration that we couldn’t really ramp up the pressure on the authorities.
I’m over it now, of course – if it edges Marnie a bit closer to being released and being able to stay in Dubai to fight for custody of her kids, then this is a fantastic development. I really hope it is. And I hope that the pressure that we’ve been able to exert has made a difference.
If it turns out to be a dead end, I’ll get my trip down to the UAE embassy with Marnie’s supporters another time. We won’t be letting this one go.
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