Arrested tourist 'choked on vomit'
A British tourist who died in police custody in Dubai choked on his own vomit, the Gulf emirate's attorney-general said.
Lee Brown, 39, was arrested after being accused of physically and verbally abusing a female member of staff at the luxury Burj Al Arab hotel, the local authorities said.
He died on Tuesday amid claims that officers punched and kicked him during his time in custody at Bur Dubai police station.
Dubai attorney-general Issam Al Humaidan said a post-mortem examination found Mr Brown's death was caused by suffocation after vomit leaked into his respiratory tract.
Offering condolences to the Briton's family, he stressed in a statement that police in the emirate dealt with prisoners with respect and were "governed by the highest standards to preserve human rights".
Mr Brown's family in Dagenham, east London, were told he had allegedly suffered severe beatings in custody after another prisoner found their contact details on a photocopy of his passport left in a cell, the Daily Mail reported. His relatives contacted the British Embassy in Dubai with their concerns about his safety.
But UK officials who visited the police station were told he did not want to meet them, according to the founder of a support group for alleged victims of injustice in the United Arab Emirates.
Radha Stirling, from London-based Detained In Dubai, said: "Really, they should have been able to see him to make sure he was in a good condition, whether or not he wanted to speak to them. It does look like he was in a bad condition and the police didn't want the embassy to see him. It's quite a failure of process."
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: "We can confirm that Lee Brown died on April 12 while in police custody. Our thoughts are with Mr Brown's family at this very difficult time. The Consul General has spoken directly to the Dubai police at the highest level on a number of times to stress the importance of a full investigation."
Amnesty International urged the United Arab Emirates authorities to ensure their investigation is "full, thorough and independent". Tim Hancock, the human rights group's UK campaigns director, said: "We are told that if a police officer is found to have broken the law, he will face justice. Amnesty International welcomes this assurance."