British man detained in UAE for supporting Qatar national football team
A British citizen has been detained in the UAE for wearing a Qatar national football team shirt to an Asian Cup match.
Ali Issa Ahmad, 26, could face a 15-year jail term and a fine of over Dh 500,000, on charges of showing sympathy for Qatar.
During his arrest, Ali was severely assaulted by Emirati security officers, his friend Amer Lokie said.
“We’re not clear about exactly what happened next but he has been held because he is accused of making false allegations against UAE security officials. He said he is being held in a place called Al Sharjar.”
Lokie added: “He loves football so much. He goes to watch lots of football matches in the UK. He’s such a kind and quiet guy. He is the kind of person who always tries to help others.
Following the UAE-Qatar crisis, the Emirati authorities declared sympathy for Qatar a criminal offence, punishable with up to 15 years in jail and a heavy fine.