An online petition has been launched calling for the release of US architect Dr Robert Black who is in prison in Abu Dhabi for allegedly taking photographs in a restricted area.
The 70-year-old from Athens, Georgia, who is diabetic, had spoken at the Creative Thinkers conference prior to his arrest.
It is believed he told colleagues at the event he intended to take pictures of local mosques.
According to the US embassy he is being held in Al Wathba prison.
A diplomatic official has told his family he is receiving appropriate medical care and he has called his daughter Jessica Beasley, who says she is concerned for his health.
The Facebook petition has been signed by more than 1,600 people. It states: “We are gravely concerned with the detainment of our father and Creativity Colleague.”
The statement then emphasises the detainee’s physical condition: “Dr. Black is a diabetic and his family is most concerned for his health and well being. He wants nothing more than to return home safely. Please help bring him home.
“As background, Dr. Black is considered a global expert in creativity and has dedicated his life to bringing the power of creativity to change the world around the globe. He was volunteering his time to teach creative problem solving in Abu Dhabi. We ask for understanding of Dr. Black’s age, health and most positive intent and return him as soon as possible to his family.”