A British man is back on home soil after being freed by authorities in Dubai for touching another man’s hip and drinking alcohol.
Jamie Harron, 27, from Stirling, touched down at Glasgow Airport on an Emirates flight EK025 from Dubai where he was met by his family and friends.
He was sentenced to three months in prison after he was arrested in July and accused of putting his hand on a man’s hip to avoid spilling a drink in a crowded bar.
Mr Harron was relieved to be back on home soil after facing the prospect of three years in a UAE jail. He said: “It feels very good, I’m very happy to be home.”
Asked what was the first thing he would do when he got home he said: “Get in a good bed, it’s been a total shambles.
“It’s just total shock I feel. I get to sleep in my own bed because I’ve been sleeping on my mate’s couch for three and half months. I can’t believe it’s been four months in total.”
Campaign group Detained in Dubai (DiD), which has been representing Mr Harron, said he was sentenced to three months imprisonment at court on Sunday, but had his passport returned on Monday after authorities dropped the charges.
Radha Stirling, chief executive of DiD, then thanked Sheikh Mohammed for his personal intervention in the case and for exonerating Mr Harron.
She said: “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 United Arab Emirates’ leadership possesses the will and vision to pursue such reforms in the future.”
Mr Harron had been working in Afghanistan and was on a two-day stopover in the United Arab Emirates in the summer.
But after his arrest for “public indecency”, he lost his job and was told he faced up to three years in jail.
He was sentenced “in absentia” to 30 days in prison for failing to appear at a court hearing for making a rude gesture and drinking alcohol in the incident.
This resulted in him being locked up for five days at Al Barsha prison, before he was bailed and his passport confiscated.
After authorities intervened, Dubai police contacted Mr Harron on Monday morning, telling him the case against him had been dismissed and he could collect his passport.