Three Britons jailed in Dubai drugs case pardoned in amnesty for Ramadan


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The Independent Online

Three British men who were jailed for drug offences in Dubai earlier this year have been pardoned under a United Arab Emirates amnesty for Ramadan, according to the legal rights charity Reprieve.

Suneet Jeerh, Grant Cameron and Karl Williams, all from London, were sentenced to four years in prison in April for possessing synthetic cannabis. The men, who denied the charges, claimed they were tortured by police following their arrest while on holiday in the Gulf state in July 2012.

Mr Cameron's mother said her son had returned to London and the other two men were expected to be back in the UK soon, according to Reprieve.

The UK Foreign Office said that, while it would not comment on specific cases, it was "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," a spokesperson said.

Prime Minister David Cameron raised the case with UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed during his state visit to the UK earlier this year.

The men, all in their 20s, were arrested after police said they found a quantity of a drug known as "spice" in their car. They say they were subjected to torture by police - both in the desert, where they were initially taken after their arrest, and subsequently in hotel rooms - and that it included electric shocks and beatings.

Police in Dubai have denied any wrongdoing and say an internal investigation into the torture allegations found no evidence to support the claims.

Grant Cameron's mother, Tracy, said in a statement:  "After a year of waiting, we are deeply relieved and overjoyed to have Grant back home with us after his terrible ordeal.

"We hope that his friends Karl and Suneet will soon also be safely back in Britain."

Reprieve's Kate Higham said Mr Cameron's release was "welcome but long overdue", adding: "No one should have to go through what he experienced and we are glad that he is safely back home. We hope the same will soon be true of his friends Karl and Suneet."