Three 'tortured' Britons back home
Published 19/07/2013 | 19:27
Three men who allege they were tortured in Dubai have been released and are back in the UK, campaigners Reprieve said.
Prime Minister David Cameron raised the case with Emirati president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan in May and talks have been continuing through other official channels.
Reprieve said Grant Cameron, Suneet Jeerh and Karl Williams are all now home.
Cameron, 25, and Williams, 26, both from Wanstead, north-east London, and Jeerh, 25, from Ilford, east London, were each jailed for four years for possessing drugs in Dubai.
There had been calls for the UAE to consider speedy pardons amid claims that all three were abused by police.
They were convicted of possessing synthetic cannabis after being arrested in July last year while on holiday. Charges that they supplied the drug were dropped.
The men claimed they signed documents in Arabic - a language none of them understands - following their arrests after they were threatened with guns to their heads. Williams also reported having electric shocks administered to his testicles. Police deny the claims.
Reprieve investigator Kate Higham said: "The release of Grant, Karl and Suneet is welcome, but long overdue. They were treated appallingly by Dubai police, who still have serious questions to answer. We are glad that they are all now safely back in the UK, but the UAE's terrible record on torture must not be forgotten."
Grant Cameron's mother Tracy Cameron said: "After a year of waiting, we are deeply relieved and overjoyed to have Grant back home with us after his terrible ordeal. Obviously what Grant has been through has been very distressing for him, and the family as a whole. We'd ask that people give him the time, space and privacy he needs to settle back in. In the meantime, we'd like to thank everyone who has helped support Grant and his friends throughout their ordeal."
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: "We are aware that the 2013 amnesty list has been announced in the United Arab Emirates and that the local authorities have begun the process of releasing those included. This will continue to come as welcome news for those included and their families. It would not be appropriate to discuss details of specific cases. Questions about next steps are best answered by the UAE authorities. We will continue to provide appropriate consular assistance. We understand that if there is deportation involved, British nationals will be deported back to the UK."