Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Talks to continue on torture claims

UAE president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan will meet the PM on the second day of his state visit

Talks are set to continue between Britain and the United Arab Emirates over the case of three men who allege they were tortured in Dubai.

David Cameron raised the case with Emirati president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Wednesday while Foreign Secretary William Hague also pressed the matter with his counterpart during a meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

Discussions will now continue through other official channels, said government sources.

Ahead of Wednesday's meeting the mother of one of the men urged Mr Cameron to push for the UAE to consider speedy pardons.

Tracy Cameron said it was vital the plight of our families was relayed to the president during his state visit.

It is alleged that Grant Cameron and Suneet Jeerh, both 25, and Karl Williams, 26, were abused by police. Mr Williams and Grant Cameron, both from Wanstead, north-east London, and Mr Jeerh, from Ilford, east London, have been jailed for four years each for possessing drugs in Dubai.

They were convicted of possessing synthetic cannabis after being arrested in July last year while on holiday. Charges that they supplied the drug were dropped. The men claim they signed documents in Arabic - a language none of them understands - following their arrests after they were threatened with guns to their heads. Mr Williams also reported having electric shocks administered to his testicles.

Mrs Cameron, mother of Grant, said: "It has been catastrophic for us as a family. As a mother it has been the most difficult challenge that I have had to deal with - hearing the atrocities against my son and the two other boys. David Cameron is a wise man, a smart man, he is a family man. He has had his own family traumas I am sure, as all families do. So I am sure he appreciates just how difficult it is for us."

A No 10 spokeswoman said the leaders had discussed a wide range of international issues, including Iran, Syria and the Israeli Palestinian peace process. She added: "They also discussed UK concerns about the treatment of the three British nationals convicted of drug possession in Dubai. The two leaders agreed to continue close engagement between the two Governments on important issues in the relationship."

Asked about the case earlier on Wednesday, the Prime Minister told ITV's Daybreak: "What we've said, and the point I will make today, is that we think there needs to be a proper, independent investigation into these allegations of what happened. That is the first step really of working out what needs to happen next."

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