Janitor at Al Rabeeh School Abu Dhabi Sentenced to Death

Sunday, November 10th: An ISR Member has just made us aware of the following emergency situation.  We ask you to review the following information and act as your conscience dictates.

The following is quoted from the Huffington Post:

Mr Ezhur Kalarikkal Gangadharan was, until this summer, a caretaker at Al Rabeeh school in Abu Dhabi (for 30 years). It was a school that had been set up by Brits, and has many British expat teachers working at it.

Mr Gangadharan had not seen his wife and three daughters, back in his home country of India, for two years. Each month, he sent most of his wage packet home. He volunteered at a local community centre, during what little spare time he had.

One day in April 2013, he was arrested, taken to a police station, and beaten for three days. Terrified and in agony – he signed a document thrust before him by the police. The words were in Arabic, a language he could not understand.

The crime he had supposedly committed – the rape of an Emirati schoolchild at Al Rabeeh school.

The South Asians working at the school that day, so-called “house boys,” had also been arrested, tortured, told by police that only a confession would end the pain. Mr Gangadharan had simply been unlucky, he had broken first….

For whatever reason, nobody at the school is prepared to comment on the case. Many of their jobs rely on good will from the Emirati. The Royal Group are not returning calls from myself or from Human Rights Watch. Even the Indian Embassy, swamped with similar abuses and not wanting to upset their diplomatic relationship with the Emirati, simply commented “we have complete faith in the UAE legal system.”

Read entire article on Huffington Post web site.

An appeal against Mr Gangadharan’s rape conviction is happening this Monday 11th November.  You can sign a petition calling for a fair re-trial of  Mr Gangadharan. Click Here to Sign the Petition  (To be delivered to: Ambassador of UAE to the UK, H.E. Abdulrahman Ghanem Almutaiwee &  President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan)


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18 thoughts on “Janitor at Al Rabeeh School Abu Dhabi Sentenced to Death

  1. First of all I would like to tell those who have left comments either living in the UAE or abroad. in the courts of Abu Dhabi and Dubai there are special translators for few main languages that will translate to any foreigner any document he needs to sign or during the trial. and there was a program on MBC that showed that live . they have a Japanese, French, English, Persian, Filipnino, and Indian Translators. and I think that the language issue was an excuse that was used to gain some sympathy. for those who live abroad, you probably don’t hear the true stories that we hear about the sex offender and most of them are indian and paki workers who rape children but their parents never report because they never get caught because these incidents usually happen in the parks or the elevators. I have attended a lecture about child abuse in one of the organizations and heard many stories from many parents who are suffering from the drawbacks on their children who grew up now with a bad memory of a rape by an indian or paki worker in particular. and I am not stereo typing the reason that this is happening is that those workers live alone away from their families for a long time so apparently they are not stable in many aspects but this is still not an excuse. this death sentence will scare everybody else to even think about doing it or dare to do it again. The united stated is full of Child molesters because they don’t have a law of death sentence and consider them sick. but in our culture we consider them monster who deserve no second chance. because children deserve this type of protection and deserve a healthy environment, they want to play in a safe place, study in a safe place and so on. so instead of making a petition of some monster who was trying to defuse his lust on some innocent girl just because he is poor, there are billions of other poor people. there are children being imprisoned in Israel for no reason just because they are Palestinians. I am sure there many ppl in jail for unfair trials and they are poor too but they did not rape an innocent girl and killed her childhood.
    I am not an Emarati, but I have been living in this country for four year, working in a school witnessing people treated as fair as possible better than many other countries. and by the way there is no such salary for workers as 250$ because there is a minimum wage. the least salary paid is for the nannies provided that they live with you in your house.

    hope that was useful


  2. 1. It is Mr. Gangadharan’s family’s wish to have him home and what he wants. That presumes a fair appeal. PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION.
    2. DNA tests that were done by the police would show his innocence but have not been presented as evidence in court. His family is asking for this evidence to be given to the appeal court.
    3. The principal is a woman and not a man. She has not been taken as a witness or been interviewed by the police, so there is no basis for the prosecutor’s statement that she said she didn’t deny Mr Gangadharan could have done this. The prosecution style is very aggressive.


    1. Thanks Liz for taking the time to set out the situation. I note that some people on this forum appear to not know much about the Middle East Justice system. A good start to inform themselves would be to read the Amnesty Internationals report on Qatar and the abuses that occur in that part of the world. Dubai has made a huge effort for their Labour Court to be fair and the courts are far different to other places but still all over the world people are charged who are innocent and evidence is not used or obtained. Before you just reply that you did not know the facts- Find out and at least support a person to get a fair trial with evidence to prove the charge/s.


  3. I have seen abuses of civil rights across a broad spectrum of the population while living in Kuwait. Kuwaities are above the law we saw cases in which expat Indian and Filapino nannies were routinely abused. One of my students was late for class because he told me he had to “capture his escaped nannie.” Many have turned their religion into a sham, their laws a mockery of human rights. The care taker in the UAE is being blamed for some perversion in the family or else where. They do it all the time…there is no honour…


    1. Yes I agree. There has been a major case in Dubai which embarrassed the school and many of the attendants on the school bus. It made the papers for days and weeks and ended up being a sham. The parent who made the complaint did it as
      pay back because the school would not employ her. One of the employees was charged and locked up and for months denied pay, legal advice etc. He had also been working faithfully for years as well.


  4. Like Chris, I also wanted to sign the petition until I read that it was asking for him to be sent back to his family. He deserves a fair trial certainly, but freedom based upon an unfair and corrupt system isn’t the answer.


    1. Johina, I think the question being asked is “Did a person and a corrupt system put him in this position? To keep face someone has to be charged so think about it. Someone with no money or means and who has worked at the school for 30 years is a good start if you can get away with it? I am not saying anyone is trying to get a guilty person off the charge only What evidence is there that is permissible in a court of law and tested by a fair trial. If you are familiar with other cases heard recently and the outcome you would understand. I tried to have a look at the school’s website to look at ownership but the site has been changed to French and Arabic and the person who makes the opening statement who started the school is nameless.


  5. This is sad situation. They will never take the blame for their own- it is always someone else- just to get the whole thing over with. Human life and rights are not important. Teachers are at risk just working there. Any event like this can trigger blame on a foreigner.


  6. I went to sign the petition but decided not to as the petition asks not for a fair trial but for asks for him to be set free. How can any of us know whether or not he is innocent without a fair trial? The petition is missing the point.


    1. Have you ever worked in the Middle East? He’s Indian and poor what do you think his chances of a fair trial are!!!,


  7. Yes you can ask for a translation. If you are never shown the documents and told that they have to be in Arabic for the Labor Court or for a Visa etc then asked to sign them without the opportunity to read them or take advice what do you do. The usual excuse is the PRO needs to leave the building and you are being unreasonable and there is nothing to worry about.


  8. We are in the UAE teaching. This is horrible. I agree with Jim and would like to see a lie detector be an option. It is 100% accurate that people are asked to sign things i Arabic here and without fair representation. Here is a link to sign a petition asks for the Sheik to pardon this man. It is flying around the internet right now. If you think he should not be sentenced because we need more information please sign. This does not say he is not guilty 9we really do not know) but we should …need …..to make sure he is given a fair trial first and we have more information first!!



  9. Given that the sentence is death, the emirates would probably be willing to send the man for an MRI lie detector test. Last I heard, this new test has yet to be beaten.


    1. You over estimate them if you think that. Guilty until innocent is the mantra here. He also has the misfortune of being poor.


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