Legal justice abroad

Legal justice abroad (or the lack thereof) has been in the headlines in recent weeks. Roxana Saberi, an American journalist, was convicted of spying in Iran and sentenced to eight years in Tehran’s Evin Prison. Her family was initially told that she was arrested for buying a bottle of wine – forbidden in the Islamic nation. However, the charge soon evolved into not having a valid press card to work as a journalist and ultimately she was convicted of spying for the United States.

When traveling, it is important to know the rules of the countries that you are traveling to – there is only so much your own country can do for you if you get into trouble in another country. Different countries have highly variable rules, from Israel’s requirement on a license to ride bicycles to Barbados’s ban on wearing camouflage clothing (which is reserved for the military). Traveling to the United Arab Emirates with even a poppy seed can put an unknowing traveler in jail.

For a peek into the lives of the unlucky (or unwise) travelers who have wrestled with the legal systems of foreign nations, check out the new season of Locked up Abroad (the next new episode is on May 6 on the National Geographic Channel). The May 6 episode will feature four men who were arrested attempting to smuggle cocaine out of Brazil; they ended up spending time in Brazil’s notorious Carandiru prison. If you can’t wait until May 6 to watched Locked up Abroad, you can check out some online episodes here.

Posted by | Comments (3)  | April 30, 2009
Category: General, Notes from the collective travel mind

3 Responses to “Legal justice abroad”

  1. Says:

    OMG! I didn’t know about this show. I’ll see if I can watch it online. Some people get caught for committing obvious crimes like smuggling cocaine. However, I did not know you need a license to ride a bike in Israel.

    It does help to know before you go. That’s why I do my research before I leave. Some travelers “poo-poo” doing research before traveling, but I like to be informed!

  2. Katie, Tripbase Says:

    Very relevant re.the 20 yr old British girl, Samantha Orobator who faces a firing squad in Laos before she’s even met her lawyer. And what about that guy sentenced to life in a Thai jail for “insulting” the King in his book?!