A 27-year-old Brit is facing three years in prison for touching a man in a Dubai bar to avoid spilling his drink, according to an organisation that helps people caught up in the UAE justice system.
NGO Detained in Dubai said Jamie Harron has not been allowed to leave the city since July, been fired by his employer, and spent his life savings on legal bills and expenses of £30,000 ($AU50,570).
Harron, who is from Stirling in Scotland, claims that he was holding out his hand as he moved through a crowded bar with a drink and touched a man on the hip.
The man was “clearly agitated,” said Detained in Dubai, detailing Harron’s account of the incident. He was arrested that night and, after being held in a “foul-smelling cell” for a number of nights, was charged with “public indecency” and drinking alcohol. His passport was also confiscated.
Harron has since been fired from his job as an electrician in Afghanistan and is relying on friends for donations to ensure he has accommodation in Dubai.
The 27-year-old was due to appear in court last Sunday, but the date was moved without telling him or his lawyer. He has now been sentenced to 30 days in prison for failing to present himself at the hearing, according to Detained in Dubai.
The organisation’s CEO Radha Stirling said: “Jamie has been advised by his lawyer that he is at high risk of being jailed for a duration of up to three years.
“It is quite outrageous that he has been held in the country for so long already. This is another example of how vulnerable tourists are to arrest and detention in Dubai and at how drawn out and disorganised legal proceedings are.”
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman told Sky News: “We have been in contact with a British man following his arrest in Dubai in July. We are providing consular assistance.”
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