David Cameron has told the ruler of the United Arab Emirates that the UK has “concerns” about the treatment of three British holidaymakers convicted of possessing drugs.
Their arrests and alleged torture were raised while the President of the UAE, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was in Downing Street as part of a state visit to the UK.
During a television interview earlier in the day, Mr Cameron promised that he would call for a “full investigation” of the allegations.
Grant Cameron and Suneet Jeerh, both 25, and Karl Williams, 26, claim that they were made to sign statement in Arabic that they did not understand, while police held gungs to their heads. The trio were convicted in July of possessing synthetic cannabis, and sentenced to four years in prison.
Interviewed on Daybreak television this morning, Mr Cameron said: “The point I will make today, is that we think there needs to be a proper, independent investigation into these allegations of what happened. That is the first step really of working out what needs to happen next."
After the visit, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said that this was one of a range of issues discussed. “They discussed the action that the international community should take on the most pressing issues in the Gulf and wider region, including to address the challenge of Iran's nuclear programme, to end the appalling and dangerous conflict in Syria, and to bring new momentum to the peace process between Israel and Palestine.
“They also discussed UK concerns about the treatment of the three British Nationals convicted of drug possession in Dubai,” he said.
The Foreign Secretary William Hague head a separate meeting with his opposite number form the UAE, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, which covered the same range of topics, including the case of the three imprisoned Britons.
In a statement afterwards, Mr Hague stressed that the UAE is “an essential ally in a region of critical importance” and home to more than 100,000 British expatriates.
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