Briton jailed in Dubai for touching another man is ‘victim of Jordanian man showing off his power’

·Freelance Writer
<em>Jamie Harron was jailed for accidentally touching a man in Dubai (SWNS)</em>
Jamie Harron was jailed for accidentally touching a man in Dubai (SWNS)

Campaigners say the Briton jailed in Dubai for accidentally touching another man’s hip to avoid bumping into him is a victim of a Jordanian man asserting his power.

Jamie Harron, from Stirling, Scotland, is facing three years in a UAE jail for “public indecency” after he placed his hand on a man so they did not bump and spill their drinks.

Supporters of the 27-year-old believe the man he touched was urged to drop the case against Jamie, but he refused.

Radha Stirling, from campaign group Detained in Dubai, said Jamie’s accuser “was trying to show off his power in front of his friends”.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “His friends told him to drop the case, saying that it had gone too far, but he didn’t.”

Jamie’s distraught parents have now warned others to stay away from Dubai.

His father, Graham, said: “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.

<em>Campaigners say the 27-year-old is a victim of a local man trying to exert his power (SWNS)</em>
Campaigners say the 27-year-old is a victim of a local man trying to exert his power (SWNS)

“People have to stop visiting that country. I think it is unacceptable that the FCO actually promotes the UAE to British tourists.”

Jamie has been held in Dubai for the last three months following the incident in June.

He has spent over £32,000 in expenses and legal fees trying to resolve the cultural misunderstanding and has been stripped of his passport and his job in Afghanistan.

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He even spent five days sharing a cell and a single mattress with eight men in a notorious prison.

He said: “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.

“This has broken me, financially and emotionally.”

<em>Jamie’s parents are battling to free their son (SWNS)</em>
Jamie’s parents are battling to free their son (SWNS)

And his anxious parents have said that the whole family’s finances are now in “tatters”, after they stretched their own finances to breaking point to help their son.

Jamie’s legal battle began in June, when he was enjoying a night out with friends at the popular Rock Bottom bar in Dubai.

Jamie and his friend had bought their first drink in the crowded bar when he placed his hand on the hip of man to ensure they didn’t bump and spill their drinks.

The Brit denies public indecency, saying he was simply crossing the dance floor to avoid confrontation.

Jamie’s dad Graham said his son is “a good boy” and “is never a problem and never in trouble”.

He 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.”

Detained in Dubai said they were hoping to work with the UAE government “to make improvements to make the country safer for tourists, expats and investors”.

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