Salim Alaradi finally arrived back in Canada after being detained for nearly two years in jail in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He arrived back in Canada at the Pearson International Airport at around 6 PM on Monday.
Alaradi said on landing: “I’m overwhelmed to be home after the last two years. I cannot express how I’m feeling. It’s amazing.”
Alaradi also said: "I am home today because thousands of people in Canada and from the world spoke out. I'm grateful to each of you."
Alaradi thanked the UN Human Rights Commission, his family, members of the Canadian government and the lawyers who all worked towards having him freed. He said the campaign for his release was "unbelievable". Alaradi said: “I am home today because thousands of people in Canada and the world spoke out. I’m grateful to each of you.” Alaradi's daughter, who also worked tirelessly for his release, thanked all those who pushed for her dad's release.
The family make their home in Windsor Ontario. Alaradi said his main concern was his health saying: “I will need time to recover and to get medical treatment. I am looking forward to settling in Windsor with my family and enjoying a Canadian summer.”
Alaradi, the father of five, was arrested in Dubai back in August of 2014. He spent almost a year and a half in prison with no charge. He was tried on terrorism-related offenses earlier this year. The terrorism charges were later dropped and he was charged with providing supplies to groups and collecting donations without government approval. Human rights activists claimed there was no evidence against Alaradi and the charges were false.
Although he was acquitted of all charges on May 31st, he had problems leaving the country because he was on a no-fly list. However on June 3 he was able to travel to Turkey where he received medical attention. He apparently lost about 40 pounds in detention and was in considerable pain. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention claims that Alaradi and 4 other business men arrested were deprived of sleep for up to 20 days, beaten on the hands and legs and given "electric shock with an electric chair".
Alaradi had a business manufacturing appliances in the UAE and selling them throughout the Middle East and Africa. Marwa, Alaradi's daughter, who worked to tirelessly to free her father gave advice to anyone who faces such an ordeal: "Just speak up and don't be silent. Just tell the world what you're going through. You will find help." Alaradi had come to Canada from the UAE in 1998. He lived in Vancouver. He went to the UAE in 2007 to run an appliance business with his brother.
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Ken is a retired philosophy professor living in the boondocks of Manitoba, Canada, with his Filipina wife. He enjoys reading the news and writing articles. Politically Ken is on the far left of the political spectrum on many issues.