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The dangerous shot
A man hoping to take part in a photography contest found himself jailed after he was accused of capturing ‘restricted areas’ in Abu Dhabi.
February 16, 2010 1:13 by kippreport
A man trying to capture the sunset in Abu Dhabi has found himself jailed, fined AED1,000, and has had his passport and camera confiscated, according to a report in The National.
The 30-year-old Pakistani man, who wanted to take photographs for the “Abu Dhabi Through Your Eyes” contest, took snaps of the capital from the Khalifa Bridge – apparently unaware that he was photographing a restricted area.
Army personnel claimed that he took pictures of Mina Zayed, which includes military facilities, and docked warships leaving. The man’s camera was taken by the police, and he was kept in a holding cell for two days. He was later released on bail.
“When the police came, they said that I was taking pictures of the military zone, but how am I supposed to know that?” the accused said in court. “There are no signs that say ‘no photography’. This bridge has been under construction for five years and there are no signs,” he said.
While the man has paid up his AED1,000 fine, he is yet to get back his camera and passport, according to the report.
Kipp understands the government’s need to keep photographers away from certain areas. But why not put up a sign which clearly states that no photography is allowed? How is the general public expected to know if an area is restricted?
Unfortunately for the man, not only did he lose the chance to win between AED10,000 and AED30,000 in the competition, he also lost AED1,000, and (temporarily) his camera and passport.