Briton tortured into ‘confessing’ faces sentencing in Dubai

By agency reporter
April 13, 2014

A British tourist who was beaten and threatened with firearms by Dubai police, before being made to sign documents in a language he does not understand, is expecting a verdict in his trial on drugs offences this Tuesday (15 April).

Hasnain Ali from London, was arrested in May 2013 while on holiday in Dubai and held incommunicado for several days. During his detention, he was repeatedly beaten and kicked, and threatened with tasers, firearms, and the prospect of sexual assault. As a result of his torture, Mr Ali signed a 'confession' in Arabic, a language he cannot read, related to charges of possessing and selling drugs.

This 'confession' has since been used against him in his trial, which is expected to arrive at a verdict on Tuesday which could potentially see a death sentence being handed down.

UK Foreign Office documents, obtained by the legal charity Reprieve, detail Mr Ali’s account of his treatment, including that he “had a gun held to his head,” and was “repeatedly kicked” by the Dubai CID officers who arrested him. The documents also record visible scars on Mr Ali’s back, and state that “Consular staff were initially denied access to Mr Hussain, and were granted access only after writing an official letter to the [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] which…caused a delay in getting access to him.”

Maya Foa, director of Reprieve's death penalty team said: “This case shows the brutal reality that underlies Dubai’s tourist-friendly image. Mr Ali was not only tortured by Dubai’s police, but, in a violation of international law, denied consular access for several days. The UAE needs to realise that extracting ‘confessions’ through torture is not a recognisable form of justice by any standards – Mr Ali must be acquitted on Tuesday.”


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