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UK tourist faces jail in Dubai after brushing against man

news post by Tejpal on 07 Oct 2017,Saturday

A British tourist is facing three years’ imprisonment in Dubai after accidentally touching a man’s hip in a crowded bar while trying to avoid spilling his drink, campaigners have said. Jamie Harron was charged with alcohol consumption and public indecency after police arrived at the bar. Stripped of his passport, he has spent three months in Dubai since the incident.

Campaign group Detained in Dubai said Jamie Harron, from Stirling, central Scotland, was arrested for public indecency. Harron is said to have since lost his job and has spent more than £30,000 in expenses and legal fees, having already been stuck in the country for three months.

Radha Stirling, the chief executive of Detained in Dubai, said: “It is quite outrageous that he has been held in the country for so long already. This is another example of how vulnerable tourists are to arrest and detention in Dubai and at how drawn out and disorganised legal proceedings are.”

The 27-year-old electrician is said to have been holding a drink, moving through a crowded bar, and held a hand in front of him to avoid spilling it on himself or others. He then “touched a man on his hip to avoid impact”.

The organisation claims it was only after Harron and his friend sat at a table that the man who had been touched seemed upset.

Police arrived at the Rock Bottom bar 20 to 30 minutes later and arrested Harron, according to his representatives. He was later charged with drinking alcohol and public indecency.

Harron is said to have been locked up for five days in Al Barsha prison, before his passport was confiscated and he was released on bail.

“I have spoken to Jamie, who is under immense pressure and stress,” said Stirling. “He was expecting to appear in court on Sunday, but the court moved the date without telling him or his lawyer. This led to a sentence of 30 days’ imprisonment for failing to present himself at the hearing.”

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: “We have been in contact with a British man following his arrest in Dubai in July. We are providing consular assistance.”

 

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