Sunday, 23 September, 2018

British Man Imprisoned In Dubai For 'Touching Man's Hip'

Jamie Harron the Scot arrested in Dubai Jamie Harron the Scot arrested in Dubai
Andrew Cummings | 24 October, 2017, 01:00

A British man sentenced to jail in Dubai for touching a man's hip has had the charges against him dropped, his representatives have said.

Radha Stirling, head of Detained in Dubai, said she hoped cases like Harron's would not happen again.

In relation to the alleged public indecency charge, Mr Harron is said to have been holding a drink, moving through a crowded bar and held a hand in front of him to avoid spilling it on himself or others.

Jamie Harron has been in Dubai since July after having his passport confiscated following his arrest for touching a man's hip.

Jamie Harron, from Stirling, was arrested at a bar in July after touching the man and charged with public indecency.

"When Jamie was called this morning by the police he was told that the case had been dismissed, and that he should come in to collect his passport", Stirling explained.

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Harron has since successfully collected his passport from the Dubai police and is reportedly free to leave the country.

"This was a courageous and honourable decision on the part of Sheikh Mohammed, and while it highlights the urgent need for judicial reform in the country, it is also a hopeful sign that the UAE's leadership possesses the will and vision to pursue such reforms in the future".

Mr Harron from Stirling, had been working in Afghanistan and was on a two-day stopover in the United Arab Emirates at the time. Along the way, his case has drawn worldwide media coverage - and criticism of both Dubai's legal system and of his accuser.

Since the ordeal began, Harron has lost his job and claims to have spent more than $39,000 (AED143,000) in legal fees and expenses. "I wouldn't do that", he said previously through Detained in Dubai. "But we are enormously grateful to Sheikh Mohammed for stepping in and vindicating Jamie after months of hardship".

It is a tricky balancing act for Dubai, the affluent municipality that seeks to boost its economy with tourism dollars from people like Harron.

Last week, Philip Parham, the British ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, issued advice to British travelers, politely and diplomatically reminding them that Dubai's legal system can be a field of land mines. That's followed by a broad warning: "Laws and customs are very different to those in the UK".

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