Sunday, March 26, 2023

From Times of Israel:

An Israeli woman was released from prison in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday night and was flown back to Israel early Sunday, after UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan granted her amnesty as a personal gesture to President Isaac Herzog.

Fidaa Kiwan was serving life in prison for drug smuggling. She was originally sentenced to death in April 2022, but the Abu Dhabi Federal Appeal Court canceled the punishment and sentenced her to life behind bars in July.

Kiwan, a 44-year-old Haifa resident who owns a photography studio, reportedly came to Dubai for work at the invitation of a Palestinian acquaintance. She was arrested a short while later, on March 17, 2021, after a search of her apartment turned up the drugs. She claimed that the cocaine was not hers.
World Israel News fills in some details:
Kiwan, a staunch anti-Zionist, previously made headlines in 2010 for refusing to serve a uniformed IDF soldier in a café she once owned. The café eventually closed.

According to Hebrew language media reports, her brother, a one-time employee of public broadcasting station Kan, trashed a room at his workplace in which Israeli flags were displayed.

After her Kiwan’s arrest in Dubai, she initially resisted help from Israeli officials because of her political views. However, she eventually reached out to Israeli authorities for assistance.

Her family vocally accused the Israeli government of racism, claiming in a press conference that officials weren’t doing enough to help her case because of her Arab ethnicity.

President Isaac Herzog personally asked UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan to pardon Kiwan and he agreed, according to a statement from Herzog’s office.

Kiwan’s release came on the first day of Ramadan.
The president of the Jewish state put a great deal of his own political capital on the line to save the life of an anti-Zionist Arab - because she is a citizen of Israel and that is the government's job. 

(h/t iTiIL972)

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