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Drug laws: Britons accused of drug offences denied legal visit in Dubai

Two British citizens accused of drug offences in Dubai have been denied a visit by the charity Reprieve, who were hoping to meet with them to discuss their legal cases, reports the BBC.

Reprieve hoped to visit three Britons jailed in Dubai on drug charges last August. However, authorities in Dubai only allowed them to visit the third defendant, Suneet Jeerh, refusing them access to Grant Cameron and Karl Williams who were also arrested on the same charges.

All three men deny the charges levied against them and have claimed that the police have tortured them using electric shocks and beatings, although this account of events is being challenged.

The men were arrested whilst on holiday in the gulf state, which is known to have very strict laws on drug possession. They are thought to have been carrying a quantity of 'spice', a synthetic form of cannabis.

The men claim that after being arrested they were threatened with guns and told to sign documents that were written in Arabic that they did not understand.

Reprieve is a UK-based charity offering legal advice and assistance to prisoners around the world to ensure their human rights are observed. Their representatives have seen all three prisoners previously, but on their most recent visit were denied the chance to meet with two of the three men.

"The United Arab Emirates [which includes Dubai] must release these men and conduct a full investigation into their torture without delay," Reprieve lawyer Kate Higham said.

The men are in court today for the next stage of their trial and could face up to four years in jail for the lesser offences, through to 15 years or more if found guilty of possession. Dubai, as part of the United Arab Emirates, also has the death penalty for some drug offences.

The three men are in receipt of consular assistance from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Dubai.


British drug accused 'denied legal visit' in Dubai (BBC News)