Qatari victims ask UK to investigate abuse by UAE

Lawyer says unnamed UAE officials were involved in torture of three Qatari men and asks British police to investigate.

    The men say they were forced to read out scripted confessions by UAE officials [Al Jazeera]
    The men say they were forced to read out scripted confessions by UAE officials [Al Jazeera]

    A lawyer for three Qatari men who claim to have been tortured and falsely imprisoned by the United Arab Emirates has asked the UK's Metropolitan police to investigate the accusations.

    Human Rights lawyer Rodney Dixon said his clients were beaten, hung upside down, and electrocuted during their detention and later made to sign false confessions of spying by UAE officials.

    He submitted the allegations against the unnamed officials to British police at their Scotland Yard headquarters in London on Wednesday morning.

    Under British law, foreign officials can be investigated and charged for abuses such as torture, war crimes, and hostage-taking.

    Arrests can be made by British authorities the moment the accused enter UK territory.

    The three men pursuing the case are Mahmoud Abdel Rahman al-Jaidah, Hamad Ali al-Hammadi and Yousef Abdul Samad al-Mulla.

    Dixon told Al Jazeera that the accusations were "related to events in respect to three victims from 2013 until 2015."

    "In the case of one of them, he was held for 27 months in detention where he was tortured," he said.

    Hammadi was arrested in 2013 after he arrived at Dubai airport, while Mulla and Jaidah were arrested while driving to the Saudi border from the UAE.

    According to their lawyer, the men had decided not to publicise their ordeal after their release in 2015 but changed their minds when UAE television broadcasted footage of their confessions, which they said were false.

    Read More: Survivors call for action to stop UAE torture

    The video confessions, which Dixon said were extracted under torture and pre-scripted, were included in anti-Qatar documentaries broadcast after the start of the ongoing GCC crisis in June this year.

    Dixon said the men were determined to "clear their reputations" and wanted compensation from the government of the UAE for their experiences.

    The embassy of the UAE in London has been contacted by Al Jazeera for comment, but there had been no response at the time of publication.

    Joe Odell of the London-based International Campaign for Freedom in the UAE called on British authorities to thoroughly investigate the accusations.

    "This latest case is reflective of a much broader trend whereby foreign nationals are increasingly vulnerable to mistreatment and abuse at the behest of the Emirati authorities," he said.

    "Scotland Yard should not only conduct a thorough investigation into these latest allegations, but also numerous others which have involved the mistreatment and torture of British nationals in the UAE.

    "It is imperative that the British state's close relationship with the UAE should be conditional on the adherence to international human rights legislation."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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