Family fly out to support three ‘tortured’ Redbridge men ahead of Dubai drugs hearing
PUBLISHED: 12:05 05 April 2013 | UPDATED: 09:14 08 April 2013
The sister of an Ilford man imprisoned in horrific conditions in Dubai is flying out to the United Arab Emirates today to support her brother in his second trial hearing.
Suneet Jeerh will be in the dock on Monday facing drugs charges with friends Grant Cameron and Karl Williams, both of Wanstead.
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 tortured with electric shocks, beaten, and threatened with guns by police, before being made to sign documents they did not understand in Arabic.
One of the alleged torturers, a police officer, gave evidence against them in a hearing last month and another officer is expected in court next week.
All three men deny drug possession and consumption with intent to supply.
Lawyers believe the trial could last for months because of customary waits between hearings.
The process is taking its toll on Suneet, who has suffered since being separated from Grant and Karl and taken to the harsh Al Awir Central Jail according to sister Davena Kumar.
Davena, of The Drive, said: “He’s just given up now, mentally he’s given up.
“He hasn’t been eating properly and I’ve asked the embassy if I can take food in but I’m not allowed.
“The food is like slop, it’s disgusting, and they give really small portions.
“It’s got to the point where it’s making him feel sick.”
Davena, 32, said there is still an “open wound” on the back of Suneet’s head from the police torture and a leg injury has not healed.
During her last visit in July, strict local laws meant she could only talk to her brother through a metal grill, leaving him banging on the door and calling her name.
Davena said: “It’s heartbreaking to go all that way and not even be able to hug my brother but that’s what they’ve said will happen again.
“If the embassy pulled their finger out and helped the case would be dropped.”
Tracey Cameron, Grant’s mother, is also believed to be flying to Dubai to support her son in the hearing.
Human rights charity Reprieve is campaigning for the charges to be thrown out in light of the torture allegations and commissioned a report that supported the men’s abuse claims.
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”.
A spokesman added: “We are calling on them to conduct a full impartial and independent investigation.”
The office cannot overrule another country’s laws or legal processes.
Dubai’s National Media Council has said police deny allegations of torture.
An online petition demanding the immediate release or Grant, Karl and Suneet has more than 1,300 signatures. Sign it at www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/government-of-the-uae-release-grant-cameron-karl-williams-and-suneet-jeerh.
A website, dubaitorture.co.uk, has contact details for MPs and other organisations for people wanting to take action.
Are you a relative of Grant or Karl? Contact us on 0208 477 3821 or email email@example.com.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ilford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.