More than $25,000 raised for men jailed in UAE
Crowdfunding to help two Singaporean men jailed in the United Arab Emirates has raised more than $25,000 in just 24 hours.
Freelance fashion photographer Muhammad Fadli Abdul Rahman, 26, and his friend Nur Qistina Fitriah Ibrahim, 37, were arrested for wearing women's clothes and behaving indecently at a shopping mall in Abu Dhabi on Aug 9.
They were each sentenced to a year's jail on Sunday.
Nur is a transgender person known as Fifi to friends but is identified in documents as a man because he has yet to have sex reassignment surgery.
The money is to be used for legal fees and other costs in their appeal against the sentence.
Mr Fadli's brother, Mr Saiful Abdul Rahman, 32, told The New Paper yesterday that their family was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.
The fund-raising was initiated by Singaporeans Vanessa Ho and Jocelyn Teo with the consent of the detainees' families.
Mr Fadli called his father on Wednesday night to say that he was well-fed and comfortable in detention, said Mr Saiful.
"But we are still very worried because their bail applications were rejected," Mr Saiful added.
The men appeared in court on Thursday to seek bail pending the outcome of their appeal.
They were accompanied by Singapore Embassy officials, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said yesterday.
Replying to media queries, an MFA spokesman said its officials had met both men on Wednesday to ensure their continued well-being while in custody.
The spokesman added: "The embassy will continue to provide the necessary consular assistance and has been closely monitoring developments to ensure that due process is accorded to them. MFA is also in close contact with the families."
She reminded Singaporeans to respect and abide by the local laws when they travel overseas.