October 25, 2014

South African Surgeon Arrested in Dubai For Death Twelve Years Ago of Patient

Dr. Cyril Karabus, an eminent South African pediatric surgeon and professor of medicine, was arrested while en route home for charges stemming from the death of patient twelve years ago. He had operated on a child suffering from cancer  in the United Arab Emirates, who later died of leukemia. Although earlier charges on the same grounds (of which Dr. Karabus was never notified) had been dismissed, he now faces trial for the same charges. CCS protested this evident miscarriage of justice.

President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nayhyan
Ministry of Presidential Affairs
Corniche Road, PO Box 280
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Fax 971-2-622-2228

October 2, 2012

Your Excellency:

We are an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world. We are writing you now in concern for Dr. Cyril Karabus.

Dr Karabus, a former professor of pediatrics and eminent South African pediatrician and oncologist, was arrested on August 18, 2012 while in transit in Dubai from Canada to South Africa. He was charged with the death of a child on whom he operated twelve years ago at the hospital your Highness founded, Sheikh Khalifa Medical Center in Abu Dhabi. The pediatric cancer patient Dr. Karabus treated later died of leukemia. An initial conviction of Dr. Karabus, on manslaughter charges about which he was never notified, has been overturned. We understand that he will now be tried again on the same charges.

Dr. Karabus’ arrest was met by shock and outrage by such organizations as the World Medical Association, the South African Hemophilia Federation and South African Medical Association, and others. Dr. Philip Lanzkowsky, Dr. Karabus’ predecessor as chief of oncology pediatrics at Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Capetown, told the attorney for Dr. Karabus that in his experience, unfortunately children with leukemia often die from complications after surgery. Dr. Karabus himself, who is 78 years old and depends on a pacemaker for his heart, is in the jail’s hospital wing because of his medical condition.

We strongly urge you to remedy this evident miscarriage of justice in the case of Dr. Karabus, dismiss the charges and allow him to return to South Africa.

Sincerely,

Eugene Chudnovsky
Alexander Greer
Joel Lebowitz
Walter Reich
Paul Plotz

Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists

Copies to:

Minister of Justice Dr. Hadef bin Jua’an al Dhaheri
Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs
P.O. Box 13, al-Manama, Bahrain

Minister of Health Abdul Rahman Moahammed Al Owais

Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba
Embassy of the United Arab Emirates
3522 International Court, NW
Suite 400
Washington, DC, 20008

The Hon. Michael H. Posner
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520 USA

How You Can Help

Download the sample letter and send it to:

President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nayhyan
Ministry of Presidential Affairs
Corniche Road, PO Box 280
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Fax 971-2-622-2228