Help! American teacher held in UAE prison on false charges!
Team Member: Caleb Hatfield
Daniela Redlin wrote -
On Saturday, March 13, 2016, our loving son, brother, boyfriend, uncle, friend, and colleague Matthew Novak, was detained in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on a layover flight while returning to Cairo, Egypt from Spring vacation.
He is a beloved teacher at the American International School in Cairo, a concert violinist, cross-country athlete, Masters’ graduate, and is respected by all for his morals and integrity. Right now, Matt is being held prisoner based on false charges of defaulted loans totaling around 90,000USD. Matt never took out any of these loans and has never faulted on any credit obligations. This is a case of identity theft and wrongful imprisonment.
Between August 2009, and June 2012, Matt worked for the Abu Dhabi Educational Council. His passport was stolen in the fall of 2010. Matt reported this to the police in Abu Dhabi, Immigration, the US Embassy, and published the loss in the local newspaper, as he was instructed to do. He was diligent in his efforts to be responsible. In the spring of 2012, he moved to different teaching position in Chiang Mai, Thailand. When Matt left Abu Dhabi, he was cleared by Customs to leave the country and no charges were presented to him.
His family, girlfriend, friends, colleagues, and students are extremely concerned about his wellbeing. Matt is the kind of person who cares about others deeply and works toward the greater good. Even in the midst of the biggest personal crisis of his life, he asked about his students on his one phone call and wanted to make sure they would still be able to go on their scheduled field trip in his absence. Matt is a kind and honest person who has always helped those in need.
NOW, he and his family needs our help!
We need your support in gathering funds for his legal defense. The initial lawyer cost is $4,500 USD, just to see him and gather evidence about the case. There will be a second, much larger, fee for the lawyer to defend him in court. This fee is yet to be determined. His family is under severe emotional and financial distress. The American Embassy is working with Matt, but they will not provide him with a lawyer. We will give continual updates as this situation develops. Your donations are greatly needed and appreciated!!! Please donate what you can now! Matt and his family need our help! Your donations will go directly to Matt's family account.
Friend and colleague of Matt: Daniela