May 21 2013 Latest news:
by Lizzie Dearden, Reporter
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
A cattle prod could have been the weapon used by Dubai police to torture three men from Wanstead and Ilford, according to a torture expert.
Dr Frank Arnold was commissioned by human rights charity Reprieve to conduct a report into the injuries sustained by Grant Cameron and Karl Williams, both of Wanstead, and Suneet Jeerh, from Ilford, ahead of their trial tomorrow (Thursday).
The three men, all 25, have been in prison since July last year, when Dubai police arrested them after claiming to find synthetic cannabis, known as “spice”, in their hire car.
They claim they were then tortured, beaten by police, threatened with guns and made to sign documents they did not understand in Arabic.
The report, which used witness statements, an X-ray of Mr Williams’ hand and notes from British embassy officials, seems to confirm their accounts.
Dr Arnold wrote that brown marks found on Mr Jeerh’s back were “constituent with” electric shocks at a high current density delivered by a cattle prod.
Officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office recorded “two light brown circles in the middle of his back” on a visit in July.
Mr Jeerh, of The Drive, had described being tortured with a taser-like weapon in his witness statement.
He wrote: “It was like a nightstick, but was electric at the end. They used this on me six or seven times.”
Electric shocks were also reported by Mr Williams and Mr Cameron.
Mr Williams, of Herongate Road, wrote: “They pulled down my trousers, spread my legs and started to electrocute my testicles, using an electrical baton.
“It was unbelievably painful. I was so scared.”
He also suffered a fracture to his right hand that Dr Arnold concluded was “consistent with” the beating he described.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials documented the injuries on July 16 but Mr Williams was not seen in hospital until over a month later, by which time he needed an operation on his hand.
Dr Arnold expressed concern that the men’s horrific experiences could cause post-traumatic stress disorder, meaning they would need psychological assessment before being cross-examined in court.
Human Rights charity Reprieve is calling for Dr Arnold to be allowed to visit the prisoners to conduct an independent assessment but the United Arab Emirates authorities have refused him entry.
Lawyer Marc Calcutt said: “If they do not allow this, then everyone should ask whether it is because they have something to hide.
“We are pushing for an independent inquiry into the allegations.”
Mr Calcutt wants the charges against the men to be thrown out as evidence gained under torture would be unreliable.
The men are due to face a postponed trial for drugs consumption and possession with intent to supply tomorrow.
They deny the charges.
Sign a petition to the United Arab Emirates government for their release at www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/government-of-the-uae-release-grant-cameron-karl-williams-and-suneet-jeerh.
Are you a relative of Mr Williams or Mr Cameron? Contact us on 0208 477 3821 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.