June 19 2013 Latest news:
Lizzie Dearden, Reporter
Thursday, March 14, 2013
The three men from Ilford and Wanstead “tortured” by police in Dubai are due in court today after more than eight months in prison.
Suneet Jeerh, of Ilford, and Grant Cameron and Karl Williams, both of Wanstead, deny possessing synthetic cannabis “spice” with intent to supply but face up to 15 years in prison.
Dubai police arrested them after claiming to find synthetic cannabis, known as “spice”, in their hire car.
Mr Cameron and Mr Williams had joined Mr Jeerh, who was pursuing his dream career in Dubai, for a holiday.
The men, all 25, claim they were tortured and beaten by police, threatened with guns and made to sign documents they did not understand in Arabic.
A torture expert’s report into their ordeal supports their claims after analysing evidence from witness statements, an X-ray and accounts from British Embassy officials.
Dr Frank Arnold found that brown marks found on Mr Jeerh’s back were “consistent with” strong electric shocks.
He said the weapon used on all three men could have been a cattle prod.
Human rights charity Reprieve is campaigning for the charges to be thrown out in light of the torture allegations.
Today’s trial was originally scheduled for February 21 but had to be postponed when prosecution witnesses, two police officers, did not attend court.
Lawyer Marc Calcutt said trials in the United Arab Emirates can last for months.
Pressure is mounting on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to intervene as relatives, friends and politicians call for action.
A spokesman said it is providing consular assistance to the three prisoners and has called on the United Arab Emirates government to conduct a “full, impartial and independent investigation”.
An online petition demanding the immediate release or Mr Cameron, Mr Williams and Mr Jeerh has more than 1,300 signatures and on Tuesday, friend Tom Crompton started a website to raise awareness of their ordeal.
The website, dubaitorture.co.uk, has contact details for MPs and other organisations for people wanting to take action.
Sign the 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 email@example.com.