The man she was accused of having sex with, her Emeriti employer, was however released. I do not know why he was released but the fact that Roxanne is still in jail and he is not raises serious questions about the bona fides in this case.
As such, there is even a greater need for the South African government to step-up and intervene on Roxanne's behalf. What more is needed to prod our government into action?
The appeals court's decision makes me wonder about the politics at play in this case.
I think it probably reasonable to assume that the UAE does not want to 'lose face' in this case and so they would rather keep Roxanne imprisoned.
The South African authorities in the UAE are most likely just treading water and hoping the case would just disappear from view. Afterall, South Africa would not want to offend the UAE and, thereby, threaten any economic and diplomatic interests.
I expect that Roxanne's case will not be the last of its kind in the UAE. For some reason there is an obvious 'need' to showcase vigilance over what is defined and legislated as immoral and illegal relationships between unmarried men and women.
There is nothing Islamic about this kind of meddling and totalitarian abuse, particularly, as it relates to Roxanne's rights as a non-Muslim.
My reading of the Sharia (Islamic law) is clear on the fact that Islam does not seek to legislate the sexuality of non-Muslims. In this context, and aside from Roxanne's plea of not guilty, the case should be set aside as a mistrail because the Sharia does not apply to non-Muslims even where they live and work in an Islamic principality or state.
However, this case is not about the Sharia. This case is about the UAE and its ambitions to embrace modernity and balance the consequences against historical and soco-cultural hang-ups that belong in a time long long ago.
The right, moral, and just thing to do would be to declare a mistrail and set aside Roxanne's conviction.
As it stands now, it is abundantly clear that she is being persecuted for reasons that have very little standing in the merits of the case that has been constructed around her or the Sharia that the UAE should seek to respect and uphold.
If you need to catch-up on Roxanne's case see my previous post here. Be sure to read the comments section for contributions from Roxanne's father, Freddie Hillier.
UPDATE: June 22, 2009. 8:01pm (SA time)
Freddie Hillier left a comment here and I want to highlight a part of what he wrote:
"I would like to point out the strange fact, that her boss was acquitted on the charge of having sex with her, but she was convicted on both charges. In other words he did not have sex with her, but she had sex with him! I fail to understand that, let alone how one can call that justice. ..."Try wrapping your head around this!
If anyone is still unconvinced that Roxanne is being unfairly persecuted then surely the revelation above is more than enough to prove her innocence and more.
How can this young woman be guilty of having sex with a man the same court has decided did not have sex with her? Where is the sense in this contrived justice?
Nowhere is the answer!
If you are reading here and are incensed by Roxanne's situation then forward this post and visit her Facebook page so that more and more folks can know what the UAE is doing.
UPDATE: June 23, 2009, 10:31pm (SA time)
SIGN ONLINE PETITION TO FREE ROXANNE HILLIER FROM PRISON IN THE UAE
UPDATE: July 23, 2009, 9:10pm (SA time) I just received an email from Freddie Hillier and he informed me that Roxanne has been freed. The authorities are also not following through on their deportation order but Roxanne is most likely leaving the UAE in the next couple of days.
I do not know too much more but it is wonderful news indeed!
UPDATE: August 6, 2009, 12.05pm (SA Time) Freddie Hiller assures me that Roxanne is doing well alongside her mom, Ina, and extended family in South Africa. Roxanne will be doing an interview with Carte Blance on MNET this coming Sunday (August 9, at 7pm).
I think that one can view Carte Blance programs online too.