Tourist 'Facing Jail For Touching Another Man's Hip' In Dubai

Marie Harrington
October 24, 2017

A SCOT sentenced to three months jail for touching a man's hip in a Dubai bar is due to fly home tomorrow for an emotional reunion with his parents.

The electrician, from Stirling, claimed he was simply trying to avoid spilling his drink when he brushed past the man at the Rock Bottom bar.

In court, Harron's accuser, a businessman of Jordanian descent who heads a German plant in Dubai, said that Harron had touched him - and that when asked about it, Harron flashed his middle finger.

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", Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai, said in a news release.

Stirling said that ideally such intervention would not have been necessary, but was grateful that the Dubai Ruler took the initiative. He faces deportation after he has served his time.

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She said: "He nervously went to the police station today to get his passport, but he was anxious it was going to be a trap to re-arrest him. This came by direct order from Sheikh Mohammed".

"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 Emirate's leadership possesses the will and vision to pursue such reforms in the future". "He feels betrayed and exploited by the system, which did not investigate the reports of key witnesses in his defense and led him to believe that the case would be dropped".

It is a tricky balancing act for Dubai, the affluent municipality that seeks to boost its economy with tourism dollars from people like Harron. It is legal to sell alcohol at licensed venues in the UAE, but it is illegal to be found drunk.

Foreigners also have faced charges in the past for having sex outside of marriage.

Recent incidents involving British nationals apparently forced UK Ambassador to the UAE Philip Parham to write a letter warning citizens to exercise more caution and understand local laws in the sheikhdoms. He added, "More than 100,000 British people live in the UAE and another 1.5 million visit every year".

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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