WUFT News

UF Engineering Professor Detained In United Arab Emirates Returns Home

By on April 9th, 2015
John Schueller, Ph.D., was attending a conference in Abu Dhabi when he was arrested. Schueller confirmed he was detained after taking photographs of buildings.

John Schueller, Ph.D. (Photo: University of Florida Center for Manufacturing Innovation)

UPDATE: University of Florida engineering professor John Schueller, Ph.D., has returned home after being detained in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

In a written statement, Schueller said, “I had planned to be in Abu Dhabi for three days starting March 8th as one of 200 scientists from 70 countries for a United Nations-sponsored meeting on agriculture and food security. Unfortunately, it turned into a month-long stay.”

Schueller said he was arrested after inadvertently taking photographs of two embassies, which is forbidden. He was taken into custody, and his passport was confiscated.

“Fortunately, I was able to conduct some lectures and perform other UF professorship duties via the Internet when I was out on bail,” he wrote.

His trial was held on April 6, and he was able to return home on Wednesday.

After thanking his wife, UF English professor Malini Schueller, Ph.D., as well as his friends and colleagues, Schueller concluded, “I’m now putting this unpleasant event behind me and am concentrating on the many things that need to be done before the impending end of UF’s academic year.”

Original Post: University of Florida professor John Schueller, Ph.D., has been detained in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

During a conversation via Skype with WUFT on Tuesday, Schueller confirmed he was detained after taking photographs of buildings. In an email Wednesday, he declined to comment further.

A statement from the U.S. State Department, emailed to WUFT by a press officer on Wednesday, confirmed Schueller was arrested on March 9 and released the next day. According to the statement, the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi is providing consular assistance.

According to a statement from Janine Sykes, assistant vice president of media relations and public affairs at UF, Schueller was in the U.A.E. to attend a conference. The university was made aware of the situation last week.

“As this matter concerns Dr. Schueller’s court process, we cannot comment further,” Sykes wrote.

Schueller’s next court appearance is scheduled for March 22, according to information from a State Department official provided in a separate email. The official did not comment on trial proceedings or the charges against Schueller.

According to an initial State Department statement, “a consular officer helped Mr. Schueller find temporary lodging at a hotel, where he is staying awaiting sentencing.”

However, in his email to WUFT, Schueller wrote, “I am not ‘awaiting sentencing.’ It is unknown how the case will proceed.”

WUFT contacted the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. Gulf Standard Time (12:30 a.m. EST), but officials had not yet responded at the time of publication. The U.A.E. Embassy in Washington was not aware of the situation as of Tuesday approximately 3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, according to a representative.

The State Department would not speculate on when Schueller would be able to return home.

Olivia Perez-Cubas, press assistant for U.S. Senator from Florida Marco Rubio, wrote in an email to WUFT, “Our office doesn’t typically comment on constituent cases, but we are aware of the situation and have been in contact with both the State Department and Mr. Scheuller.”


This entry was posted in University of Florida and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in University of Florida

featuredimage

UF Developing Its First On-Campus Food Pantry

The University of Florida is developing an on-campus food pantry for students. The pantry will offer free, nutritious food and will be available mid-summer to those with a valid UF ID.


Coach Billy Donovan calls out to plays to his team while pacing the court.

Thunder Reach Agreement To Hire Florida’s Donovan

Florida coach Billy Donovan has agreed to become the Oklahoma City Thunder’s next coach. Donovan replaces Scott Brooks, who was fired last week.


A veteran sits outside the ZBT fraternity on University of Florida campus in Gainesville, Fla. Friday, April 24, 2015.

UF Chapter Of ZBT To Close Immediately

In the wake of allegations of misconduct at an event in Panama City Beach, the University of Florida’s Zeta Beta Tau chapter will close as of Tuesday. Members of the fraternity were accused of disrespecting wounded veterans.


Members of the University of Florida chapter of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity are under investigation after spitting on and taking flags from wounded veterans. The students and veterans were in Panama City Beach when the incident occurred.

UF Zeta Beta Tau Under Investigation After Disrespecting Veterans

The University of Florida chapter of Zeta Beta Tau is under investigation after disrespecting wounded veterans at an event in Panama City Beach. While the fraternity has suspended its actions, the university is looking into further sanctions.


Ayden Geary, 8, comes face-to-face with a Madagascar hissing cockroach. “It’s cute,” he said.

UF’s BugFest Opens To The Public For The First Time

The UF Entomology Club’s fifth annual BugFest opened to the public for the first time on Saturday. Entomology students helped give local children a hands-on experience with bugs, from handling exotic critters to tasting bug-infused cuisine.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments