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British teachers detained in Oman after 'attempting to rescue abused dogs'

The Independent logo The Independent 16/5/2019 Chris Baynes
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A pair of British women have been arrested in Oman on suspicion of theft after they reportedly attempted to rescue dogs that were being mistreated.

Jennifer Green, 33, and a friend have been detained in the Gulf state’s capital Muscat, where they are both employed as English language teachers by the British Council.

The women are said to have “intervened to save” two dogs that had been left in the sun in high temperatures last week. They have since been accused of trying to steal the animals.

Royal Oman Police also alleged the pair were “intoxicated”. Being drunk in public is illegal in the Islamic country.

One of the women was carrying a knife as they attempted to take the dogs, police told the Times of Oman. The newspaper reported the pair were being detained in a women’s prison until their case is heard by public prosecutors.

Detained in Dubai, a legal organisation which represents Britons who have been arrested in the Gulf, said the case appeared to “down to a cultural misunderstanding”.

Chief executive Radha Stirling said the women "allegedly intervened to save abused animals, which is something honourable in Britain, but is a crime in Oman."

She added: “Abusing animals apparently is not a crime in Oman, and rescuing an animal can apparently lead to abuse by the legal system. I would encourage the Omani government to intervene in this case before the suffering of these young women is prolonged any further.”

“This case comes down to a cultural misunderstanding, and these two young women do not deserve to be locked up in prison over it.”

Ms Green’s brother, from Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, told The Sun the women were being “held on trumped charges”.

A British Council spokeswoman told The Independent: “We are aware of an incident in relation to two British teachers employed locally in Oman. We cannot discuss the details of an ongoing legal case and await the outcome of due process by the Omani authorities.”

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The council, which works to promote British culture overseas, is in touch with the UK’s consulate in Oman as it seeks to resolve the case.

A UK Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are providing support to two British women, and their families, following their arrest in Oman. We are in contact with the Omani authorities.”

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