May 26 2013 Latest news:
Lizzie Dearden, Reporter
Thursday, March 14, 2013
The Dubai police officer accused of torturing three men from Wanstead and Ilford testified against his alleged victims in court today.
Suneet Jeerh, of Ilford, and Grant Cameron and Carl Williams, both of Wanstead, stood helpless in the dock as proceedings got underway in Arabic with no translator.
The three men, all 25, claim they were beaten by police, threatened with guns and made to sign documents they did not understand in Arabic after their arrest in July.
A torture expert’s report found their injuries were “consistent with” the torture by beating and electric shocks they described.
In a witness statement, Mr Williams, of Herongate Road, described horrific abuse in a hotel.
He wrote: “They pulled down my trousers, spread my legs and started to electrocute my 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.”
But in court today, one of the arresting officers allegedly involved in the torture, Lieutenant Othman Ali, denied any wrongdoing.
Under questioning by Mr Jeerh’s lawyer, he said the Brits had been treated “very well” and gave evidence against them.
The men were charged with drugs consumption and possession with intent to supply after police found synthetic cannabis “spice” in their hire car.
They deny the charges but have been in prison for more than eight months since the arrest. The three men had planned at holiday travelling around the United Arab Emirates.
Mr Cameron, of Harpenden Road, and Mr Williams are in Port Rashid prison but Mr Jeerh, of The Drive, was taken to the higher security Al Awir Central Jail.
His sister, Davena Kumar, said he had been forced to watch rapes as a “lesson”.
She added: “He’s been in there for so long, watching the abuse and completely cut off from the outside world.”
Lawyer Marc Calcutt, from human rights charity Reprieve, said criminal trials in the United Arab Emirates can continue for months with long waits between trial hearings.
Although some drugs charges in the country are punished with the death penalty, Mr Calcutt believes Mr Cameron, Mr Williams and Mr Jeerh are facing up to 15 years in prison.
The next hearing has been scheduled for April 8.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it is providing consular assistance to the three prisoners and has raised torture allegations “at a very senior level” but cannot interfere with another country’s legal processes.
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 Jeerh, Mr Williams or Mr Cameron? Contact us on 0208 477 3821 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.