Dubai: British tourist Jamie Harron sentenced to three months 'for accidentally touching a man's hip' in bar

Mr Harron said to feel 'angry, disappointed, and dreading what may happen next'

Will Worley
Sunday 22 October 2017 15:34
Comments
Electrician Jamie Harron was in Dubai for a two-day stopover after working in Afghanistan
Electrician Jamie Harron was in Dubai for a two-day stopover after working in Afghanistan

British tourist Jamie Harron has been sentenced to jail in Dubai after accidentally touching a man’s hip, campaigners have said.

He faces three months in prison but his lawyers plan to appeal.

Campaign group Detained in Dubai (DiD) said Mr Harron, from Stirling, Scotland, was “angry, disappointed, and dreads what may happen next”.

He is not being held in custody while the appeal is considered, according to DiD chief executive Radha Stirling.

But his passport has been confiscated and he cannot leave Dubai.

The 27-year-old electrician was on a stopover in the Gulf city state when he brushed past a man in a bar.

Mr Harron is said to have been holding a drink, moving through a crowded bar and held a hand in front of him to avoid spilling it on himself or others. He then “touched a man on his hip to avoid impact”.

He was later arrested for public indecency.

Ms Stirling said: “Now Jamie has been sentenced to three months; there is no telling whether a judgement on appeal will be better or worse.

Jetpack firefighters launched in Dubai

“He has already suffered tremendously as a result of these allegations, and now faces the likelihood of incarceration.

“His family was unable to visit him during this critical time because they faced a very real risk of imprisonment themselves under the UAE’s cyber crime laws which forbid criticism of the government.

“At this point, Jamie will definitely be pursuing civil action against his accusers when he does eventually return home, as it appears that he will not be able to find justice in the UAE.”

She added: “He feels betrayed and exploited by the system, which did not investigate the reports of key witnesses in his defence and led him to believe that the case would be dropped.”

The electrician was working in Afghanistan and was on a two-day stopover in the United Arab Emirates in July when he was arrested.

He since lost his job because of his detainment.

A spokeswoman for the UK Foreign Office said: “We have been in contact with a British man following his arrest in Dubai in July. We are providing consular assistance.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in