For Immediate Release
Brother of Tortured Dubai Brit Speaks Out ahead of Verdict Tomorrow
LONDON - The brother of a British man tortured at gunpoint and threatened with rape by Dubai police has spoken out for the first time ahead of a verdict expected tomorrow (April 15) in his sibling’s trial.
Hasnain Ali, (32) from London - a former bodyguard to members of the Abu Dhabi royal family - was on holiday in Dubai in May 2013 when he was arrested. Upon arrest Mr Ali was held without access to his family or a lawyer – police then repeatedly beat him and threatened him with tasers, firearms and the prospect of sexual assault. He faces the death penalty if convicted.
As a result of his torture, Mr Ali signed a ‘confession’ in Arabic – a language he doesn’t understand – related to charges of possessing and selling drugs. This confession was used against him at trial.
Ahead of his brother’s sentencing tomorrow, Mr Ali’s brother Jed has made his first public statement. He told lawyers at legal charity Reprieve, which is assisting Mr Ali:
“I cannot believe that this could have happened in a country like the Emirates. More than that I cannot believe the way our complaints about Hasnain’s treatment have been handled. There has been no proper investigation into his torture and we have felt that the authorities have shown more interest in saving face than ensuring that any kind of justice is done. My brother has worked hard for the Emirates and the Royal family over the years but now, although they must know he is innocent, they have abandoned him. There is no way my brother should be convicted on the basis of a “confession” he was tortured into signing. Hasnain must be released and the people responsible for this must be punished – the UAE police cannot continue to treat people this way and get away with it.”
UK Foreign Office documents, obtained by 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: “As has happened to so many people, Mr Ali endured horrific treatment at the hands of Dubai’s police. A ‘confession’ extracted under torture is now being used against him, against all basic standards of justice. Mr Ali must be acquitted and returned home to the UK and to his family.”
Reprieve is a UK-based human rights organization that uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay.