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Have you ever heard the name, Zack Shahin?
Shahin is an American who has been imprisoned in the United Arab Emirates for the last 15 years.
His family has learned that Shahin is near death and is understandably upset with the Biden administration for ignoring their pleas for help after successfully brokering Brittany Griner’s release from a Russian prison.
The release of Griner involved the UAE. The country helped facilitate the Griner deal so the family is even more upset that the current administration isn’t doing anything to help Shahin.
“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,” Zack’s son, Ramy Shahin told Fox News morning show co-host Rachel Campos Duffy on Sunday. “And they gave my father’s case… not an ounce of respect.”
“He’s an American citizen that’s been abandoned by the Biden administration as well as the State Department,” the younger Shahin continued.
“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.
While attending a business meeting in 2008 in the UAE, Shahin was arrested and charged with fraud. After being tried and convicted, he was sentenced to 50 years plus in a prison with “horrible conditions.”
His family maintains his innocence. Now Shahin is reportedly fighting for his life in a hospital where he’s been for the past three months.
He has an infection that’s been spreading, has had several surgical procedures, including amputations, and is still being ignored by the White House and State Department.
Shahin’s sister-in-law, Aida Dagher, said that the case meets several of the criteria of the Levinson Act which “provides resources to loved ones who have family member held abroad” but the government has been unresponsive to the family.
“We had seven criteria out of the 11, and we did not get any form of response,” Dagher told the network. “We just got ignorance. In fact, we’re getting neglect and ignorance from the State Department, from the Biden administration. 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 that they don’t even need to bring up his innocence. It took 9 1/2 years to convict him because, according to Dagher, “They had nothing against him. The big four auditing firms went through his accounts. There was nothing, no provisions, nothing.”
According to Fox News, the last person to see Zack Shahin in jail, Martin Lonergan, described the conditions in jail as “inhumane” and “degrading.”
Lonergan said that Shahin “is dying” and he doesn’t know “how much longer he’ll last.” He also detailed that his mental health is failing and Shahin has had several suicide attempts.
He said that the UAE we see is one with beautiful 5-star resorts but “down the road, there is a hell that you cannot imagine.”
Let’s pray that this case gets the attention it deserves before it’s too late for Shahin and his loved ones.
US citizen Zack Shahin is detained in UAE for 14+ yrs. He has serious health issues & in desperate need of medical attention.@StateDept @POTUS you know Zack's case.What are you doing about it?
With the New Year, we urge UAE govt. to show mercy, as is its custom, & pardon Zack. pic.twitter.com/aXVU6rVJ6s
— Hostage Aid Worldwide (@HostageAid) January 5, 2023