Scot Jamie Harron Still Facing Jail Time in Dubai Despite Accuser Dropping Complaint Against Him
27 year old Jamie Harron could still face three years in jail in Dubai on public indecency charges after it was revealed that local prosecutors are pushing ahead with his case, despite the fact that his accuser has dropped the complaint initially filed against him.
Jamie Harron was arrested five months ago in Dubai and is facing a possible sentence of three years in jail on charges of public indecency for touching another man's hip whilst trying not to spill his drink when moving through a crowded bar in downtown Dubai.
According to Harron's representative, police arrived on the scene around 30 minutes later and arrested him. He had his passport confiscated and was held for five days in Al-Barsha prison, where he was charged with public indecency before being released on bail. He is due in court on October 22, and if found guilty, faces three years in jail.
A statement released last week from the company of Emad Tazza, the man who filed the complaint against Harron, said that Mr.Tazza had dropped the complaint against the Scotsman upon realizing the severity of the punishment he faced. However despite this. local prosecutors are still proceeding with Harron's case although it had initially been reported that he would be released.
In a voicemail message to Rahda Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai -an NGO that has been assisting the Scotsman in his case - Harron said:
“I heard a rumour that the accuser dropped the case against me and thought I would be freed. I am being told that the prosecutors are not dropping the case, even though the accuser withdrew the complaint. It looks like this is going to continue. I have been here for 5 months now. I thought it was going to go overnight and I would be starting my job.
I took this job in Afghanistan in a risky situation because I wanted to give myself a good start in life. I wanted everything right and organised for the future. It’s all backfired now. Now because of all this mess over a two day stopover, I am in debt and stand to lose my house, everything I’ve worked for, and my freedom.
All of the support from everyone back home has just made me feel so homesick. I miss my family so much. The whole situation is just unbearable and I just feel shattered, but I want to send my appreciation to everyone who is trying to help me and I really hope to see you all soon.”
Jamie's parents, Graham and Patricia, have been left devastated by the ordeal. Graham told Detained in Dubai:
“We were really surprised to see the statement of the company. They said he had dropped the charges in August but they never spoke to our lawyer and nothing changed.
Our son is still being prosecuted and still faces jail time. People need to understand that it is not a joke to make complaints to the police, especially in that country. The consequences are very serious and they can ruin people’s lives as they have Jamie’s. Maybe it wasn’t his (Mr Tabaza’s) intention for it to go so far, but it has, and we are all suffering for it."
Former MD of Leeds United Football Club, David Haigh, who was himself tortured and imprisoned in Dubai, has called on the British government to do more to help British nationals in the UAE and to review its overall relationship with the Emirati state . He said
“We will keep hearing of cases such as Mr Haran’s until the Foreign Office and British Government stand up for British expats in Dubai. They need to urgently review our relationship with the UAE and our extradition treaty with them. They need to make it clear that unjust jailing of a Brit is not “sport” and will not be accepted.”
In recent years, UK courts have consistently rejected Emirati extradition requests on grounds of human rights concerns, citing a real risk of torture in the event of extradition. However despite this, the British government does very little to assist UK citizens in the UAE who come in to contact with the repressive arm of the Emirati security state, as Jamie Harron has done.
In light of this case and numerous others, it is imperative that more action is taken by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to raise awareness among citizens of the real risks and dangers of travelling to the UAE, especially regarding the nation's confusing laws around things such as alcohol consumption and sexuality. By not doing so, foreign nationals in the UAE are left increasingly vulnerable to arbitrary detention and other forms of mistreatment at the hands of the Emirati authorities.
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- For Detained in Dubai's press release on the subject and for more quotes and information, please see http://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/stirling-och-partners/pressreleases/they-have-ruined-our-sons-life-jamie-harron-parents-furious-over-neuman-and-essers-stance-as-scotsman-faces-prison-over-public-indecency-dot-dot-dot-2217287