UPDATE: Family of Ilford man jailed on drugs charges in Dubai launch appeal
- Credit: Archant
The family of Suneet Jeerh, who was jailed by a Dubai judge with two other Redbridge men today, have launched an appeal against his sentence.
Mr Jeerh, of Ilford, was found guilty of drugs offences and sentenced to four years in prison along with Grant Cameron and Karl Williams, both of Wanstead.
The three men, all 25, denied all charges and claimed they were tortured by police after their arrest with electric shocks and beatings, before being forced to sign documents in Arabic.
They have been in prison since July last year, when police found a cannabis substitute called “spice” in their hire car.
It had been legal until days before the arrest.
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Mr Jeerh’s sister Davena Kumar said lawyers were launching an appeal against the sentence.
She said that although Mr Cameron and Mr Williams were arrested in the hire car where the drugs were found, her brother was not at the scene and was taken from his apartment by police.
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Miss Kumar added: “I’m not happy he’s even got four years.
“I spoke to him today and he’s quite relieved but he just wants to come home.
“But at least he’s not sitting there in the darkness wondering and hoping anymore.”
When she saw her brother in prison earlier this month he had lost weight and gone grey with the strain of his ordeal.
Aneet Jeerh said the sentence “showed some leniency” and believed that some charges of intent to supply drugs had been dropped.
He added: “I think the embassy have got through to the authorities there.
“We thought they would all get different sentences but I think they have judged them as a group rather than individuals.”
Although the sentences appear to have been reduced, a “full, impartial and independent investigation” into the torture allegations has yet to emerge, despite pressure from the Foreign and Commonwealth office and Prime Minister David Cameron.
In a letter to charity Reprieve, he wrote: “Our concerns about the allegations of torture […] have been repeatedly raised with the Emirati authorities, including by the Foreign Secretary and Alastair Burt.”
He added that authorities’ refusal to allow torture expert Dr Frank Arnold into the United Arab Emirates to examine the men’s injuries was also concerning.
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.