British man detained over Qatar football shirt to sue UAE
A 26-year-old British man is set to launch a legal challenge against the Emirati authorities after he was arbitrarily detained and tortured in the UAE allegedly for wearing a Qatar football shit.
Ali Issa Ahmad was arrested while on holiday in the UAE last January after attending an Asian Cup football match between Qatar and Iraq. He claims to have been beaten, electrocuted and burned by interrogators while in detention. After making an official complaint at a local police station on release, he says he was forced to sign a false confession stating he was guilty of wasting police time.
The UAE authorities have denied his allegations, accusing him instead of self-inflicting his injuries to gain media attention.
Ahmad told the Guardian: “I must challenge their lies. I have the truth, I have the scars. I am suffering a lot from what they did to me. They cannot be allowed to keep doing this to people.”
His lawyer, Rodney Dixon QC of Temple Garden Chambers, added : “The torture and abuse that Ali suffered was completely unjustified and gratuitous. It is shocking that a football fan can be treated in this way in UAE just for supporting a team at an international tournament.”
Ahmad has called on the Foreign Office to launch an investigation into his torture claims.
He also wrote to the foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, on Wednesday, urging him to take action.