Freed Britons claim treatment in UAE 'disgusting'

5th August 2013, Comments 0 comments

Three British men who claim they were tortured and wrongly convicted on drugs charges in the UAE said on Monday their treatment had been "disgusting" and "out of this world".

The trio were pardoned and freed from prison last month after British Prime Minister David Cameron raised their case with the United Arab Emirates president.

In their first interview since returning, Grant Cameron, 25, Karl Williams, 26, and Suneet Jeerh, 25, all from London, claimed they were subjected to beatings by the Dubai authorities.

The tourists were arrested in July last year and convicted in April of possessing for consumption more than one kilogramme (2.2 pounds) of synthetic cannabis known as Spice.

They were jailed for four years each and Dubai's appeals court upheld their sentences.

Jeerh claimed the men were taken into the desert to be tortured.

"It was just out of this world, disgusting the way they treated us," he told ITV television.

"They just kept on beating us, asking us names, telling us we were someone else that we were not and when they pulled the tasers out, that's it, my lights went out from there.

"It was like a long cattle prod with a little taser bit at the end."

Grant Cameron said the group knew there was a bag in their car, but claimed they had no idea it contained synthetic cannabis.

"We hired a rental car from a gentleman that we had met over there and we discovered a bag in the car and on inspecting it, it just seemed it was some form of packet. It said on it: 'not for human consumption'," he said.

"It didn't seem anything untoward in any way so we thought nothing of it."

He said that after their arrest they were beaten "repeatedly" for five or 10 minutes before being taken to their hotel room and beaten for another 20 minutes.

"We were trying to talk to them, trying to request the embassy or any form of legal representation," he said.

Their lawyers claimed they were subjected to torture including electric shocks.

The UAE has dismissed the claims of mistreatment.

Williams said it had been difficult to adjust to life back home, having not seen his daughter since she was 10 weeks old.

"You miss your family so much and then you come back and then when you actually, finally get to see them you're actually lost for words," he said.

"You've been in jail for a year and you come back and your daughter is walking, talking."

© 2013 AFP

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