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Israeli who was sentenced to death in UAE returns home

Fida Kewan was arrested in Abu Dhabi, accused of drug trafficking.

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Fida Kiwan, an Israeli woman from Haifa who was jailed for drug trafficking last year and had originally faced execution in the United Arab Emirates, has been pardoned and released by UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan in honor of Ramadan.

“I can’t believe my daughter is back,” Kewan’s mother, Sabah, told Walla news.

Fida Kewan was arrested in Abu Dhabi in March of last year, accused of drug trafficking and sentenced to death. Her sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment by the court in the United Arab Emirates.

In the past year, her family members, including her mother, brother and sister, have been in contact with the office of President Isaac Herzog in Jerusalem, claiming that she fell victim to a ruse and working to secure her release.

Herzog submitted a personal humanitarian appeal to UAE’s president a few weeks ago and in recent days, the President’s Office and the Israeli embassy in the UAE led by Ambassador Amir Hayek have been working with authorities in the Gulf nation on the technical aspects of Kiwan’s release and return to Israel.

Kiwan’s attorneys said in a statement, “We thank the president of the country for his commitment to the operation. We also thank Sheikh bin Zayed, the prince of the Emirates, for the pardon on the occasion of Ramadan.”

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