The parents of a 27-year-old British man facing a three-year jail sentence in Dubai for putting his hand on a man so he did not “bump and spill drinks” have urged foreigners to stop visiting the country.
Harron was said to be moving through the crowded bar holding a drink. With his hand extended out in front of him to avoid spillage, he briefly “touched a man on his hip to avoid impact”.
Jamie Harron, from Stirling, was arrested on July 15 for public indecency and drinking alcohol at the Rock Bottom Bar.
The British man, who had been working in Afghanistan as an electrician, was stripped of his passport and already spent more than £32,000 in expenses and legal fees.
Harron was on a two-day stopover in Dubai when the incident happened. He has since lost his job according to the Huffington Post.
Jamie, who spent five days sharing a cell with a single mattress with eight men, says the ordeal has “broken me financially and emotionally.”
“The whole thing is like a horrible dream and I just don’t know when it is going to end. I thought it would be over by now but it feels like it will never be.”
His father Graham said: “Patricia [Jamie’s mother] and I have not been able to relax for a moment. We never dreamed we would have to face something like this,” adding, “We are a very close family and it is killing us to think of him spending even three nights in jail, let alone three years.”
“We can’t believe that this nightmare has gone on for three months. Jamie is a good boy. He has never been a problem and never in trouble.”
“People have to stop visiting that country. I think it is unacceptable that the FCO actually promotes the UAE to British tourists.”
“I’m up all night worrying…There’s no chance of sleep,” said Patricia.
Graham added: “The UK embassy has not done anything to help and seem to think it is absolutely fine for British nationals to be abused in this way.”
“Since Jamie was arrested I have researched and found that this is more common than any of us think. Where are the embassy staff who should be offering emotional and practical support to both Jamie in the UAE and his family back home in Stirling?”