British tourists tortured by Dubai police due in court

March 13, 2013

Three British men who were beaten and subjected to electric shocks following their arrest by police in Dubai are due to appear in court tomorrow on drugs charges – despite the ongoing failure of authorities in the UAE to produce a report on their mistreatment.

Grant Cameron and Karl Williams, both 25 and from London, and Suneet Jeerh (25) from Essex are due to appear in court on the morning of Thursday 14 March. The men were arrested after police claimed to have found a form of synthetic cannabis in their hire car in July 2012. After their arrest, all three were subjected to beatings and electric shocks. Mr Williams suffered a broken hand as a result of his mistreatment, and had shocks administered to his testicles using an electric baton.

The authorities in Dubai claim to have investigated the mistreatment suffered by the men but, more than half a year on from their ordeal, have yet to produce their report. Following their abuse, the men were pressured to sign documents in Arabic, a language they do not understand, and were denied access to a lawyer for over 6 months. All three have pled not guilty to the charges.

A report produced last week by Dr Frank Arnold, an expert on the assessment of torture wounds, found that the available medical evidence and reports from the UK Foreign Office were consistent with the treatment the men described, noting that:

“The ‘brown marks’ described on the back of Mr Jeerh’s back would be consistent with his having been subjected to electric shocks at high current density as delivered, for example, by a cattle prod.”

Reprieve is calling on the UAE Government to produce their report into the treatment of the three Britons, and to allow Dr Arnold access to the three men in order to carry out a full assessment of their injuries – a request which has so far been denied.

Marc Calcutt, lawyer at Reprieve said: “It is a scandal that Dubai is pushing ahead with this trial, despite their ongoing failure to properly investigate the torture which these three men have suffered. The world is watching: the UAE cannot claim to have a justice system worth the name if they persist with these attempts to sweep torture under the carpet. Any of the thousands of Brits who travel to the country for holidays or business should consider carefully the threat of police torture before doing so.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. For more information please contact Clemency Wells or Donald Campbell in Reprieve’s Press Office, on: +44 (0) 207 553 8161 / clemency.wells@reprieve.org.uk / donald.campbell@reprieve.org.uk

2. For further information about the torture to which the three men claim they were subjected please see here.

3.Witness statements by the men can be seen upon request. The case page for the Dubai three is on Reprieve’s website.

4. Reprieve, a legal action charity, uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay. Reprieve investigates, litigates and educates, working on the frontline, to provide legal support to prisoners unable to pay for it themselves. Reprieve promotes the rule of law around the world, securing each person’s right to a fair trial and saving lives. Clive Stafford Smith is the founder of Reprieve and has spent 25 years working on behalf of people facing the death penalty in the USA.

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