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Middle East

Three British men lose appeal against four-year sentences on drug charges in Dubai

The 20-year-olds claim they were beaten and forced to sign false confessions by police

Three British men have lost their appeal against four-year sentences on drug charges in Dubai, despite claiming they were beaten and forced to sign false confessions by police.

Suneet Jeerh, 25, Grant Cameron, 25, and Karl Williams, 26, were sentenced to four years on charges of possessing illegal drugs after being arrested last year after a quantity of synthetic cannabis called “Spice” was found in their holiday hire car.

The men subsequently claimed they signed documents in Arabic - a language none of them understands - following their arrests after they were threatened with guns to their heads. Mr Williams also reported having electric shocks administered to his testicles.

In April Dubai officials dropped charges of supply, which could have carried sentences of as high as 30 years, but each were jailed instead for four years.

The men's families have raised the case with the British Government and earlier this year David Cameron called for a “full, impartial and independent investigation” into the torture allegations  when he met the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan in London.

Lawyers in Dubai suggest it is unlikely that the three men will be required to serve out their full-time in prison but there is uncertainty whether they will be pardoned, something that was originally speculated as possible option.

Mr Jeerh's sister, Davena Kumar, said that police had ordered her brother to drop the torture allegations if he wanted to return to Britain. “He told them he's not going to drop it,” she told The Ilford Recorder. “They said he could be in there for longer but they've already done the worst they can to a human. What more can they do?”