A British man is trapped in a Dubai jailed after he ‘touched’ a man while out to avoid spilling a drink.

Twenty-seven-year-old Jamie Harron, from Stirling, is now facing three years in jail after being arrested for ‘public indecency’ when he accidentally touched a man on his hip, according to campaign group Detained in Dubai.

Harron has spent over £32,000 in expenses and legal fees as he tries to resolve the matter

The ordeal began for the electrician when he stopped in Dubai for a to-day trip while on his way to Afghanistan for work; he was out with friends at the Rock Bottom Bar, having a drink when he placed his hand on a man’s hip to make sure they didn’t bump into each other and spill their drinks.

Police arrived and arrested Jamie, who says he was thrown into jail without being told what the charge was.

He was later told he had been charged with drinking alcohol and public indecency. He as strongly denied the second charge, stressing that he was only trying to avoid spilling his drink.

Although tourists are allowed to drink alcohol at licensed venues in the strict-Muslim country, they can still be arrested for having alcohol in their system.

Jamie said: “I am really stunned that it has gone that far.

“I have witnesses who are willing to present themselves in court, even the bouncer at the bar.

“I cannot believe I am facing these allegations when I followed the laws in their entirety.

“Now it is possible that I will be arrested on Sunday for failing to appear at a court hearing that neither I nor my lawyer, were advised of.”

Jamie says following his arrest he was held at the ‘foul smelling’ Al Barsha prison, where he claims he wasn’t allowed to wash himself or brush his teeth. He was crammed into a cell with eight other men, who were forced to share ‘one revolting mattress’ between them.

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He says that he was eventually bailed but has had his travel documents, including his passport, confiscated.

He claims there was a ‘secret hearing’, that he didn’t attend, because he wasn’t aware of it.

He added: “Of course if I had known there was a change in the court date, I would have been there.

“I have been waiting for months to appear and now it looks as though I will be
arrested when I go to the hearing.

“It is completely unfair and I can’t understand how I can be sentenced for failing to appear when I was not even informed of the hearing.”

Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai, said: “Jamie is under immense pressure and stress.

“Jamie has been advised by his lawyer that he is at high risk of being jailed for a duration of up to three years.

“It is quite outrageous that he has been held in the country for so long already.

Credit: SWNS

“This is another example of how vulnerable tourists are to arrest and detention in Dubai and at how drawn out and disorganised legal proceedings are.

“We have received a wave of new cases of British nationals detained in Dubai and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office need to increase travel warnings to citizens intending to visit or live in the country.

“If Jamie is sentenced to prison, he faces human rights violations and torture.

“The English High Court has ruled against extradition to the UAE based on the ‘very real risk of unfair trials and torture’ but the UK government has refused to increase warnings, largely due to their financial and diplomatic ties with the UAE.”



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