WMA Resolution in Support of Professor Cyril Karabus

Adopted by the 63rd WMA General Assembly, Bangkok, Thailand, October 2012

The WMA welcomes the bail granted on the 11th of October to the retired South African paediatric haematologist, 78-year-old Professor Cyril Karabus, as a positive step given his state of health; he has cardiac disease. Dr Karabus had been detained in an Abu Dhabi, UAE prison since August 18th 2012.  He was arrested in Dubai, whilst in transit to South Africa, owing to alleged charges emanating from a brief period that he worked in the UAE in 2002.

Professor Karabus was neither informed of the charges leveled against him nor the subsequent trial that was held in absentia relating to the unfortunate death of a child with acute leukemia under his care during his tenure in the UAE in 2002.  His defense lawyer has also been unable to access any documents or files relating to the case that may assist in providing a fair defense. 


The WMA General Assembly urgently calls on the authorities of the United Arab Emirates to ensure that Professor Karabus:

  • Is guaranteed a fair trial according to international standards;
  • Has access to the relevant documents or information he may require to prepare his defense.