05/30/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

UAE Condemns Royal Sheikh Torture Tape (VIDEO)

UPDATE: The Financial Times reports Wednesday that Abu Dhabi intends to investigate torture allegations against the royal family. According to FT:

The statement said the human rights office of the Abu Dhabi judicial department would conduct a "comprehensive review of the matter immediately and make its findings public at the earliest opportunity".

The statement made no mention of Sheikh Issa - who has never held government office - but said "the events depicted on the video appear to represent a violation of human rights".

A video tape leaked out of the United Arab Emirates last week depicts a member of the royal family, Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al Nahyan, beating and torturing another man, and then running over him with a Mercedes. The man is reported to be a grain dealer who had lost a shipment. The incident was first reported by ABC News, who queried the UAE government:

In a statement to ABC News, the UAE Ministry of the Interior said it had reviewed the tape and acknowledged the involvement of Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al Nahyan, brother of the country's crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed.

"The incidents depicted in the video tapes were not part of a pattern of behavior," the Interior Ministry's statement declared.


Democratic Representative James McGovern, outraged over the tape, penned a letter to Secretary Clinton and the State Department following ABC's Nightline report demanding that the US issue a strong response, ABC reports. However, the State Department has not yet followed through with McGovern's preferred tone of response.

This week, the UAE government has issued additional statements, ABC reports, this time condemning the heinous acts seen in the tape -- which has now been thoroughly circulated online.

The video was leaked elsewhere to the Associated Press as well, by a Texas businessman who claims to have been imprisoned and tortured at the hands of the UAE royal family. The following AP video gives a more in depth account of the increasing notoriety surrounding the UAE's royal family, especially with regards to business dealings.