Former Leeds United M.D David Haigh Addresses UN Over Torture Experience in UAE
Former Leeds United MD David Haigh today spoke to delegates of the United Nations 36th Human Rights annual conference about his experiences of torture and unfair trails in the UAE.
Speaking alongside leading barristers and human rights organisations on human rights in the UAE, Haigh spoke to the UN for the first time about his experiences of detention in Dubai, detailing the abuse and torture he suffered at the hands of Emirati officials, the false confession he was coerced into signing, and how he was also raped by prison guards. As well as this, he provided an eyewitness account of the mistreatment that other prisoners suffered sharing his facility, detailing the abuse and torture they suffered at the hands of the Emirati authorities.
Haigh was arrested in Dubai in May 2014 after his former employer GFH Capital, an equity firm based in Dubai, accused him of fraud, claims that Haigh has vigorously denied to this day. He went on to spend 23 months in detention, a period in which Haigh alleges he was subjected to torture by UAE security officials on numerous occasions; this included being beaten, physically assaulted, tasered, and subjected to sensory sleep deprivation, as well as being forced to watch other prisoners being tortured in front of him.
On his return to the UK, Haigh has undergone, and continues to receive, medical treatment for the physical injuries he sustained during his detention, as well as psychiatric therapy after being diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Earlier this year, Haigh made an official complaint to the United Nations special rapporteurs of torture, arbitrary detention and unfair trails and to the British Metropolitan police over torture.
After his address to the UN today David said “the horrors of what happened to me need to be presented on a global stage so that a light can be shone on the dark illegal acts of the UAE government in their courts and Jails”.
He continued “the UAE PR and marketing machine misrepresents to the world that they are a modern, fair and tolerant society. This media campaign hides a very dark truth that the UAE can and must address”.
David Haigh's case is symptomatic of a wider problem facing British expatriates and foreign nationals living and working in the UAE who have become increasingly at risk of arbitrary detention and torture at the hands of Emirati authorities.
This has come in the context of state repression being ramped up on Emirati, and non-Emirati citizens alike over the last few years, in which Amnesty International has repeatedly reported cases of enforced disappearances, unfair trails, torture and other ill-treatment of detainees in the UAE.
It is imperative that there is justice for Mr. Haigh and that his case shines a light upon these issues more broadly, and crucially, that it compels the British government to hold the UAE authorities to account over its repeated breaches of international law, and its continued violations of the basic rights of those travelling and residing within its borders.
- For more information or press queries, please contact the ICFUAE Team include firstname.lastname@example.org and +44 7979 666698
- For Detained in Dubai's press release on the subject, and more quotes and information, please see http://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/stirling-och-partners/pressreleases/former-leeds-united-gm-solicitor-and-businessman-david-haigh-gives-evidence-to-the-united-nations-over-his-torture-in-uae-jails-2162288