British Cancer Victim Describes Appalling Prison Conditions in Dubai
A British cancer victim who was recently released from detention in Dubai has described the harrowing conditions he experienced there. Perry Coppins, 61, was arrested in Dubai in November on the charge of possession and intent to use controlled drugs, despite the fact that he held a prescription for the medicine. He was released and allowed to return to the UK last week.
Coppins said that he was being ‘systematically murdered by negligence and medical inexperience’ and described the prison conditions as ‘barbaric’, where the food provided ‘wouldn’t sustain lives’ and prisoners were forced to eat off the concrete floor. ‘I actually knew I was dying. I was totally convinced I wasn’t going to make it back to England’, he said.
He was finally released due to a widespread media campaign led by Detained in Dubai, whereas the UK foreign office again provided limited assistance to the UK national. According to Coppins, ‘they could have done a lot more’, and seemed ‘more concerned about keeping a good relationship with the UAE’ rather than helping their own citizens.
Radha Stirling, chief executive of Detained in Dubai, said: ‘We welcome the decision by Dubai authorities to take the humane and sensible course with Perry. This case should never have escalated to the point of criminal charges, but without the scrutiny of the international media, it is unlikely that Perry would be a free man tonight. In the absence of such attention, what was essentially a misjudgment by one customs official turned into a literally life-threatening situation for Perry.’