Twenty-three-year-old Chloe Collins has been detained in Oman without being charged since May 9, and after pleas from her family and legal representative for help, the Department of International Relations (Dirco) has reportedly launched an investigation into her case.
Collins’ legal representative Simone Carolissen says that the Omani government has detained Collins as her younger brother is considered a person of interest in the death of a taxi driver.
“We are told that Chloe has been in police custody as she allegedly ‘allowed’ her brother to come home,” she said. “At this stage, it is confirmed that no charges have been filed against Chloe, or her brother, and no extradition request has been formally supplied to our government for her brother. We are told Chloe will appear in court in September.”
Collins and her younger brother are both from Kraaifontein, and arrived in Oman together to work in the country’s hospitality industry. Her brother, whose name is being withheld at the request of the Collins family, left shortly after arriving.
He has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and is currently receiving treatment at a local psychiatric facility. He has not been formally charged.
“A lawyer in Oman has also reached out and may offer some pro bono time,” Carollisen said. “The government of Oman has officially advised Dirco that Chloe’s brother is a person of interest in the death of a taxi driver. Chloe’s family only know that her brother was sent home by their employer following a mental breakdown. Chloe comes from a modest background. As far as we know, Chloe did not have the money to facilitate her brother’s travel home. We are still awaiting the formal document to confirm the verbal feedback from Dirco.”
Collins was detained less than three weeks after she arrived in Oman, and her family had no idea of her detention until earlier this week.
As Collins currently has no legal representation in Oman, the family have no access to the formal charges and police dockets. Oman authorities arrested her in the wake of investigations and are now demanding his return in exchange for hers.
Collins’ divorced parents have no means to finance legal fees. A Back-a-Buddy campaign has been created for donations to assist with these expenses. She has been interrogated about the incident, in a foreign language, without legal representation for many hours. The right to a fair trial and access to justice are not yet assured.
While funds are appreciated, the family’s primary request is for the public to share social media posts, sign the petition on http://chng.it/QmM2xyPVN6, and create awareness around Collins plight.