UK

Dubai British Tourists, Who Claim To Have Been Tortured, Sentenced To 12 Years In Prison

29/04/2013 06:57 BST | Updated 28/06/2013 10:12 BST

Three British man found guilty of possession of drugs in Dubai have each been sentenced to four years in prison, according to reports.

Grant Cameron and Suneet Jeerh, both 25, and Karl Williams, 26, were jailed for possessing a quantity of a synthetic cannabis known as spice.

The men, all from London, were on holiday in the Gulf state in July last year when they were arrested after police found the drug in their car.

They claimed they were tortured by police following their arrest, alleging that they had guns held to their heads by police.

Mr Williams also said he had electric shocks administered to his testicles.

Cameron has already expressed concerns about the plight of the men, and says he will use a state visit to raise the case.

In March, a torture expert told the Huffington Post UK that X-rays and Foreign Office notes on injuries and bruising of the three men appear to prove they have been tortured.

Dr Frank Arnold, who has prepared reports on more than 500 asylum seekers who claim they were tortured, was asked to examine the evidence that three British tourists held on drugs charges in the United Arab Emirates were given electric shocks and beaten by police.

Dr Arnold has not examined the men, but has based his findings on X-rays and notes taken by British consular staff. Human rights charity Reprieve claim Dubai authorities will not allow them to assess the men in person.

In his report seen by HuffPost UK, Dr Arnold states: "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."

The three men were visited by consular staff six days after they claim the torture took place, and Dr Arnold said those British staff examining the men were not torture experts.

The FCO notes say: "SJ [Suneet Jeerh] said that the electric baton was also used on him 6-7 times (I saw 2 light brown circles in the middle of his back ...).

"They all said 'that the CID officers were slapping them all the time' (there was a very faded mark on KW's left arm on top of his left shoulder.

"I saw the top of his right hand was swollen. KW [Karl Williams] could straighten four of his fingers but not the little one).

"KW said that he saw the doctor at Port Rashid PS but refused to take "anti inflammatory" cream because he wanted us to see his hand and photograph it."

Dr Arnold concluded: "The fracture in Mr William's hand is, at the very least, consistent with trauma of

the kind he described."

"Torture and violent abuse are well known to cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This condition is characterized by hyper-arousal (with nightmares and flashbacks), disorders of sleep, memory and emotion.

"Certainly the statements from Mr Williams and Mr Jeerh indicate that they have symptoms consistent with PTSD."

In a letter to Reprieve on Sunday, Cameron wrote: "The UK Government takes all allegations of mistreatment very seriously.

"We continue to press for evidence for a full, impartial and independent investigation into the allegations. The absence of an independent medical examination remains a concern."

He continued: "During the state visit of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan there will be opportunities to raise a wide range of issues including concerns about this and other consular cases.

"We continue to request these cases are fully and independently investigated.

"I appreciate this must be an extremely difficult time for Cameron, Williams and Jeerh and their families."