Hasnain Ali is a 32-year-old British national who was tortured by the Dubai police into confessing to drug possession and faced a death sentence.
After Reprieve took up his case he was acquitted of all charges in April 2014.
Hasnain, a former bodyguard, had flown into Abu Dhabi for a weekend break with family. He was arrested for suspected drugs possession – an offence which can carry a death sentence in Dubai.
He was held in incommunicado detention for several days at Dubai’s central police station, with no access to a lawyer, and limited food and water. During his detention, Hasnain was horrifically beaten and abused, and handcuffed in stress positions by a group of police officers. They also threatened him with guns, tasers, and sexual assault, including threats to assault his female relatives.
Hasnain was told that the torture would end and he would be release if he co-operated with the authorities. He signed a “confession” in Arabic, a language he does not understand, related to the possession and selling of drugs. At a hearing in March 2014, Hasnain’s fellow prisoners testified that they noticed his severe injuries between his interrogation sessions. Under Emirati law, all evidence obtained by torture must be excluded from the trial proceedings.
On 15 April 2014, Hasnain was acquitted on all charges. In response to the news, his brother Jed said:
“Our family is overjoyed at this morning’s verdict. It is such a relief that Hasnain’s innocence has been recognized and that we will soon have him home with his family. However, we still cannot understand why Hasnain was treated so terribly. We hope that the authorities in Dubai will put a stop to police torture before any other people or their families have to go through the same ordeal as us.”
Jed Ali, Hasnain Ali’s brother
Hasnain’s treatment and torture by the Dubai police is common. Prisoners who are arrested and detained by the Emirati authorities are often tortured, and are held in appalling conditions with little or no access to legal representation. A Reprieve report revealed that 75% of prisoners experience some sort of torture or abuse by police after arrest in Dubai. Reprieve calls upon the UAE authorities to take this seriously and conduct a full, independent investigation and to put a stop to this mistreatment.
A British man arrested and tortured by Dubai police has today been acquitted.
Brother of tortured Dubai Brit speaks out ahead of verdict tomorrow
Lawyers for Hasnain Ali (32), a British citizen on trial for drug offences in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have today argued for his acquittal after an ordeal that has included torture, illegal police conduct, and a lack of evidence. Mr Ali faces a potential death sentence if convicted in the Dubai court after today’s closing arguments.
A court in the United Arab Emirates yesterday heard evidence detailing the torture by local police of a British man charged with drugs offences.