Redbridge men start charity for foreign prisoners after Dubai drugs ordeal
- Credit: Archant
Three Redbridge men who were imprisoned and allegedly tortured in Dubai are starting a charity to help other foreign prisoners.
Suneet Jeerh, of Ilford, and friends Grant Cameron and Karl Williams, both of Wanstead, were released from jail in the United Arab Emirates last month.
They had all been sentenced to four years in April but were set free in an amnesty to mark Ramadan.
All three men had denied consuming illegal drugs and claimed they were beaten, tortured, threatened with guns and forced to sign confessions in Arabic they did not understand.
Speaking on ITV’s Daybreak on Monday, Grant, of Harpenden Road, said they hope to use their horrific experience to help others.
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He said: “We were lucky we had the support we needed but there’s so many people in there for such minimal crimes, if you can call them crimes, who have been there for a very long time.”
Grant and Karl were planning to travel around the UAE with Suneet when police arrested them after finding a synthetic form of cannabis known as “spice” in their hire car on July 3 last year.
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Suneet, who was taken from his apartment by officers, described how they were separated and beaten in the desert before being taken to a hotel and tortured with tazers.
He said: “They kept on beating us and asking us names, telling us we were someone we weren’t.
“When they pulled the tazers out that was it – my lights went out.”
A torture expert’s report found their injuries were “consistent with” the torture by beating and electric shocks they described.
After the ordeal, they were held in prison for eight months without trial in conditions described as “disgusting” by Karl.
Suneet said the threat of violence from fellow inmates was constant.
“You get used to it after three or four months,” he said. “Every day is like Groundhog Day.”
Dubai police officers denied torture charges in court but an investigation promised by authorities has not materialised.