'Tortured' British tourists could face death penalty for cannabis possession in DubaiReprieve


Three British tourists who were arrested for allegedly possessing cannabis while on holiday in Dubai have claimed they were tortured by police.

Grant Cameron and Karl Williams, 25, from London, and Suneet Jeerh, 25, from Essex, were taken into custody while on holiday last July.

According to the charity, Reprieve, the three men all signed documents in Arabic they did not understand.

They deny a charge of "consumption and possession with intent to distribute" in relation to cannabis, and their first trial hearing is set for Thursday.

The men could face up to four years in prison if convicted of consumption, between 10 to 15 years if convicted of possession, and could even face the death penalty if convicted of trafficking or promoting drugs, according to the Daily Mail.

In a draft witness statement given to Reprieve lawyer Marc Calcutt, Mr Williams alleged he was mistreated by police. According to the BBC, it read: : "I remember that the police put a towel on my face so I could not see. They kept telling me I was going to die. I was so scared."

Mr Williams said he was placed on a bed where electric shocks were administered to his testicles.

"It was unbelievably painful. I was so scared. Then they took off the towel and I could see that there was a gun pointed at my head. All I could think was that the gun in my face could go off if the policeman slipped, and it would kill me. I started to believe that I was going to die in that room."

The torture reportedly took place in the desert, where the men were initially taken after their arrest, and then later again in a hotel room.

Mr Calcutt told the BBC: "They still don't know what they have signed and what they have admitted to."

He has called on the United Arab Emirates government to launch an independent inquiry into the claims of torture, and added that he believed the men may have been "fitted up" by police keen to secure an arrest.

According to the Evening Standard, Mr Calcutt added: "The idea that young British tourists on holiday can find themselves arrested and tortured in this way is truly appalling.

"Being electrocuted in the testicles is about as brutal a torture as can be imagined. The Dubai authorities need to immediately drop the charges against the men and conduct an independent investigation into how these terrible events occurred.

"If they do not, I am sure this story will linger in people's memories - particularly when it comes to booking their holidays."

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