American jailed over photo in Emirates back home

AP News
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Posted: Nov 19, 2014 5:30 PM

ATLANTA (AP) — An American man who was jailed over taking an unauthorized photo in the United Arab Emirates has returned to the United States.

Robert Alan Black, 70, was released Tuesday, arrived in the U.S. Wednesday and is resting at his home in Athens, about 70 miles northeast of Atlanta, according to a statement provided by his family.

Black traveled to the UAE to speak at a conference on creative thinking and was arrested Oct. 21. It's not clear what he took a photo of, and the family statement says only he was detained for taking photos in a restricted area.

A number of foreigners have been prosecuted by a state security court in recent years for taking pictures of subjects deemed prohibited by Emirati authorities, such as palaces or embassies.

Black was released from detention after a court found that he had no ill intention when he shot the photos and ordered him to pay the minimum fine of 500 dirhams, or about $135, the statement said.

A friend of Black, Rosemary Rein, previously told The Associated Press that Black is an architect and is an avid photographer of buildings.