Dubai police ignore Brits’ injuries in torture ‘investigation’

April 26, 2013

Image of a prison cell window with bars

An investigation into torture of British tourists by Dubai police – conducted by the police themselves – has ignored documented evidence of the men’s abuse, while admitting that police in the UAE are issued with electric shock devices.

Following questions from the UK Foreign Office (FCO), the United Arab Emirates finally released some information regarding the investigation they claim to have carried out – over eight months after the men’s torture occurred.   However, they make no mention of the x-ray of the broken hand sustained by one of the men, Karl Williams, 26, from London.  Neither do they mention the marks on the body of Suneet Jeerh, 25, from Essex, which were noted by the FCO and have been described by an expert in torture injuries as “consistent with his having been subjected to electric shocks at high current density as delivered, for example, by a cattle prod.”  

Moreover, the notes from the UAE admit that police officers in Dubai are issued with electric shock devices, although they deny they are used in investigations.   All three men – Mr Williams, Mr Jeerh and Grant Cameron (25), also from London – were subjected to beatings and electric shocks by police in Dubai after being arrested while on holiday in the Emirate in July 2012.  They were denied access to a lawyer for over six months following their arrest, and are now facing trial on drugs charges – to which they have pleaded not guilty.  A verdict is expected on 29 April – the day before the UAE President, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, arrives in the UK on a State Visit.

Reprieve investigator Kate Higham said: “This so-called investigation is little more than a bad joke.  It was carried out by Dubai police – the very organisation responsible for torturing these men – and completely ignored concrete evidence of the abuse these men suffered.  There is no denying that Mr Williams sustained a broken hand, for example, yet this receives no mention.  The UAE must release these men and conduct a proper investigation.  If they fail to do so, it will be shameful to see Britain rolling out the red carpet for a country which tortures our own citizens.”


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2. 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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