Nearly half of a $25,000 target to pay for the legal fees of two Singaporeans, who were arrested in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and sentenced to one year in prison for wearing women’s clothes in public and for behaving indecently, has already been raised thanks to one of the men’s family and generous netizens.
We earlier reported that the siblings of 26-year-old photographer Fadli Rahman have plans to turn to crowd-funding to help their brother and his companion, 37-year-old Nur Qistina Fitriah Ibrahim, gain access to legal representation in the UAE. The duo have until 4 September to appeal the sentence.
It has been reported that Nur Qistina – also referred to as Fifi – is a transgender who has not undergone sex reassignment surgery to become a woman but has undergone a legal name change. Fadli is a fashion photographer who was in Abu Dhabi for a photoshoot.
Fadli’s sister, Shida Rahman, started a crowdfunding campaign to fund legal representation for her brother and Nur Qistina. The family hopes to raise a total of S$25,000.
Her campaign has received enormous support and the family has raised $11,360 or 45.4% of their target at the time of publishing.
Fadli’s elder brother Saiful Rahman told reporters earlier that his family only heard about the arrest through Fadli’s friends five days after the fact. When his parents found out, he said:
“My parents were crying and worried about him over there. We just want him back. We want him back safely. They can even deport him.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement to the media:
“MFA is aware of this case and is rendering the necessary consular assistance. We are also assisting the family to seek legal advice.”
Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan also reportedly emailed the family, offering support:
“I’m sorry to hear about this. Rest assured that our consular and mission colleagues will do their best to assist your brother. I understand that they are already in contact with you and your brother. Please let me know if you need further assistance.”