Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Emirati Mistaken for ISIS Member Arrested in Ohio | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Members of the public react as they walk past a New York Police Department Hercules team on patrol near Penn Station in New York August 24, 2011. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Washington – Ohio police in Avon city arrested an Emirati businessman after suspecting he was an ISIS member, only to discover their mistake and release the man after brutally assaulting him.

The incident, reported by several American media outlets, as it was captured by a police body-cam. The incident shows Ahmad al-Menhali, 41, being brutally arrested as police officers yelled at him to get onthe ground. He was later taken down by the officers and handcuffed. Menhali kept telling the police officers that what they were doing was wrong.

A police spokesperson told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the incident happened on Wednesday but he refused to give any further details because of the ongoing investigation.

The incident happened when a female clerk working at the Fairfield Inn and Suites called her sister and told her that a man dressed in Kandoura and wearing an Arab headdress is in the lobby speaking Arabic. She thought he was pledging his allegiance to ISIS.

Menhali was on the phone when the police approached him and dropped him to the ground. He was then handcuffed and arrested after he tried to resist.

Reports revealed there were no weapons with him and also confirmed that the man has nothing to do with ISIS. He was then released.

However, moments later Menhali collapsed to the ground and was taken to the nearest hospital.

Hotel management issued a statement saying that they won’t comment given there is an ongoing police investigation, but the incident began when a man acted in a suspicious way.

Meanwhile, Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) called for an investigation with the hotel management and with the police department in Avon city.

CAIR spokesperson Ibrahim Hober told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that every other day they receive similar reports of false arrests.

Hober added: “Surely we should act fast upon receiving a police report, but we should act upon the circumstances of the incident and not based on someone who hates Islam.”

CAIR general manager Nohad Awad confirmed that the organization will sue the police and the hotel for filing a false notice.

A local TV station interviewed Menhali in the hospital with blood all over his clothes due to police brutality. He said he will demand a full investigation in what has happened as neither the police nor the hotel apologized to him for what had happened.

Meanwhile, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Gulf News is following up the case with the UAE Embassy in Washington.

Thus on the matter the United Arab Emirates has urged men to avoid wearing the white robes, headscarf and headband of the national dress when travelling abroad.