US architect jailed

A 70-year-old American architect is being detained in an Abu Dhabi jail after he allegedly took photographs of a restricted area.

Family and friends are hopeful that diplomatic efforts can secure the release of Dr Robert Black, who was in Abu Dhabi after speaking at the Creative Thinkers conference in the capital.

Speaking to The National, Dr Black’s daughter, Jessica Beasley, said: “We thought that perhaps that he was sick in the hospital unable to call us, so we were very surprised to learn that he had been detained. He’s never been in any trouble with the law.”

The US Embassy in Abu Dhabi has confirmed that Dr Black, a resident in Athens, is being held at Al Wathba prison in Abu Dhabi.

According to The National, the night before he was arrested, Dr Black told a colleague he wanted to shoot photos of local mosques.

Mrs Beasley managed to speak with her father over the weekend.

“I asked him what happened. He said he took a picture that he shouldn’t have and that it was stupid. I know he’s remorseful. We’re just so sorry if he made any offense, we’re very sorry about that,” she said.