Surgeon held over 'rude' gesture in Dubai

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The Independent Online

A top UK surgeon has been detained in Dubai after a confrontation with a motorist.

Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, a consultant colorectal surgeon at King's College Hospital, had his passport confiscated when he was charged with "public indecency" last week.

He is alleged to have made a rude gesture at another driver through the window of his car, but he said he merely raised his hands.

A spokesman from the Foreign Office said they are aware of the incident, and are providing consular assistance to Mr Nunoo-Mensah.

The surgeon told the Independent the motorist pulled up alongside him and he felt intimidated.

He said: "He alleges I stuck a finger at him but I raised both hands. I am sure he must have seen them at an angle and that was offensive to him."

Mr Nunoo-Mensah had been in the United Arab Emirates with his wife and three children, and were expected to return together on May 1.

His family flew home, but the surgeon was forced to stay in Dubai.

The Foreign Office said: "We were made aware of the case of the British national in Dubai on April 27.

"We are in touch with the family and are providing appropriate consular assistance to them and the British national involved.

"The UAE laws and customs are very different to those in the UK.

"There may be serious penalties for doing something that might not be illegal in the UK and we cannot interfere in another country's legal procedures, just as they cannot interfere in ours."

Mr Nunoo-Mensah studied at the University of Nottingham and trained in his speciality of colorectal, laparoscopic and pelvic floor surgery at the University of Southern California and the Mayo Clinic in Arizona in the US.

A King's College Hospital spokesperson said: "Mr Nunoo-Mensah has kept us informed of events and we are in regular contact with him.

"We have a large colorectal team at King's, which includes three other colorectal surgeons.

"Surgical cover is being put in place to ensure our cancer patients are not adversely affected.

"We did have to cancel a small number of clinic appointments for non-urgent, non-cancer patients this week.

"These have been re-scheduled and the patients informed. Otherwise, we are running a normal service for all our patients, including those with cancer."