British tourist is 'beaten to death' in Dubai police station - Middle East - World - The Independent

British tourist is 'beaten to death' in Dubai police station

A British tourist was beaten to death in police custody after being arrested for an argument with a hotel cleaner while on holiday in Dubai, it was claimed yesterday.

Lee Brown, 39, died after six days at the notorious Bur Dubai police station and yesterday British diplomats met police in the Gulf emirate at the "highest level" to demand an urgent investigation into the case.

The self-employed maintenance man left his end-of-terrace house in Dagenham, Essex, on Wednesday last week for a last-minute holiday in one of the world's most luxurious hotels. But within hours of checking in at the Burj Al Arab, where the cheapest rooms are £1,000 a night, he was arrested over an alleged argument with one of the room staff and was facing charges of assault, intimidating behaviour and use of abusive language.

While there were some claims he had simply sworn at a hotel maid, the Dubai Public Prosecutor's office said yesterday that he had been arrested for trying to hurl a maid from the sixth floor and traces of hashish were found in his urine samples. The prosecuting authority also said the cause of death was asphyxiation from Mr Bradley choking on his own vomit.

A spokesman for the Jumeirah Group, which owns the seven-star hotel, a sail-like structure that dominates the skyline and is billed as the world's most luxurious, said: "It is our policy not to disclose any details or information about guests who stay in our hotels." The first Mr Brown's family in Essex knew of the situation was when they received a call from a fellow inmate on Sunday, who had found their details on a photocopy of Mr Brown's passport that was left in a cell. The caller claimed that Mr Brown had been stripped, cuffed and repeatedly beaten, despite his cries for help, before being thrown in solitary confinement.

Mr Brown's frightened relatives contacted the British embassy in Dubai but an official who tried to visit the man was told that he had declined consular assistance. His family received another call on Tuesday to say that he had died. Relatives said they had been unaware he was planning a trip but he had spoken of feeling stressed and needing to get away.

His mother, Doris Shafi, 67, described it as "every mother's nightmare", adding: "The first thing I knew Lee was on holiday in Dubai, the next thing I know he's dead."

A neighbour in Dagenham, who put up a poster saying "Justice for Lee" in his window, said: "He was a nice, pleasant man. He kept himself to himself, he was quite a private person. I think he went on holiday to Dubai on his own, I saw him getting into the taxi. I cannot believe what has happened to him, it's terrible. I hope the authorities don't brush it under the carpet."

Yesterday a Foreign Office spokesman said: "We can confirm that Lee Brown died on 12 April while in police custody. The consul general has spoken directly to the Dubai police at the highest level a number of times to stress the importance of a full investigation. The police have assured us that they are investigating and we are remaining in close touch with them."

Yesterday the Dubai police said: "We are now waiting for the forensic report to see the cause of death and have nothing more to reveal for the moment."

But one source told a regional newspaper that there had been no bruises on Mr Brown when he died. The unnamed official claimed he had been vomiting but had not asked for medical help, adding: "These reports in the media that he was beaten by police are a pack of lies."

Radha Stirling, from London-based Detained In Dubai, said the police stations were notoriously brutal and violent, with prisoners often kept in cramped, filthy conditions. "They put you in the cells but they don't monitor you. You're at risk of violence from the police and you're at risk of violence from the inmates."

Suggested Topics
News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum
theatre

Returning to the stage after 20 years makes actress feel 'nauseous'

News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Student
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is to offer a BA degree in Performance and Creative Enterprise
student

Top conservatoire offers ‘groundbreaking’ arts degree

Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Consultant - Soho - IT, Pharma, Public Sector

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000 first year: SThree: The SThree group i...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

SEN Teaching Assistant Runcorn

£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week