Briton jailed for three months in Dubai for touching man’s hip

Jamie Harron, who was arrested after incident in crowded bar, ‘angry, disappointed’

Dubai: the Detained in Dubai group says Jamie Harron will take legal action against his accuser when he is eventually able to return to Britain

Dubai: the Detained in Dubai group says Jamie Harron will take legal action against his accuser when he is eventually able to return to Britain

 

A Scottish man has been sentenced to three months in jail in Dubai for touching a man’s hip as he carried a drink through a crowded bar.

Jamie Harron (27) was arrested for public indecency at the Rock Bottom bar on July 15th. The electrician, from Stirling, claimed he was simply trying to avoid spilling his drink when he touched the man.

It was thought the case against Harron might have been dropped after reports that the businessman he touched had withdrawn his complaint. But on Sunday the campaign group Detained in Dubai, which has been supporting Harron, said he had been sentenced to three months in jail for public indecency.

The group said he would appeal against the jail term but he faced further court proceedings for drinking alcohol and for allegedly swearing at the businessman he touched.

‘He feels betrayed’

In a statement, the group said Harron was “angry, disappointed and dreads what may happen next. 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 group said Harron would take legal action against his accuser, said to be a senior employee at the engineering firm Neuman and Esser, when he was eventually able to return to Britain.

Radha Stirling, the chief executive of Detained in Dubai, said Harron had “suffered tremendously” as a result of the allegations, had lost his job, faced losing his home and was struggling to pay his legal bills. She said: “Now Jamie has been sentenced to three months. There is no telling whether a judgment on appeal will be better or worse. 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 cybercrime laws which forbid criticism of the government.

(Guardian)