(London) – Prime Minister David Cameron should demand a thorough and independent investigation by the UAE authorities into credible allegations of torture by three British nationals. The three were convicted on drug charges by an Emirati court on April 29, 2013, and sentenced to four years in prison. Cameron is scheduled to meet in London on May 1st with the visiting UAE president, Sheikh Khalifa Al Nahyan.
“If the scores of UAE detainee allegations of abuse and mistreatment are anything to go by, there’s good reason to demand a real investigation into the treatment of these British citizens at the hands of the Emirati justice system,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “David Cameron once promised that he would ‘stand against … regimes that persecute their people,’ so let’s see him do that for these men who have made serious allegations of torture in the UAE.”
Human Rights Watch has documented credible allegations of torture at state security facilities in Abu Dhabi and in police detention in Dubai. The three men – Suneet Jeerh, Grant Cameron and Karl Williams – allege that they were tortured in police detention there after their arrest on July 10, 2012, on suspicion of drug offenses. The men told lawyers from human rights group Reprieve, who visited them in jail in February, that police had badly beaten them and subjected them to electric shocks.
Williams told a Reprieve lawyer that police had applied electric shocks to his testicles and that his hand was broken as a result of the beatings. The three men said that police officers put guns to their heads and said they would shoot unless the suspects gave the police the information they required. The men had no legal assistance for six months, according to Reprieve, and signed confessions in Arabic, which the men don’t read.