Scot facing jail over Dubai ‘hip touch’
A Scot is facing a three-year jail sentence in Dubai for reportedly putting his hand on a man in a bar.
Jamie Harron, who is 27 and from Stirling, said he was trying to avoid spilling his drink in the crowded Rock Bottom Bar when the incident happened.
He was locked up for five days and has now been prevented from leaving the city in order to attend court.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was providing consular assistance on the matter.
The arrest follows the case of an Edinburgh man who was also detained in Dubai after attempting to exchange a fake £20.
William Barclay, from Edinburgh, returned home on Friday after being held in a Dubai jail for three days during a family holiday.
The campaign group Detained in Dubai said Mr Harron was arrested for public indecency after touching the man on his hip.
Mr Harron, who works as an electrician in Afghanistan and was on a two-day stopover in the United Arab Emirates, is said to have since lost his job and spent more than £30,000 in expenses and legal fees, since the incident on 15 July.
Radha Stirling, chief executive of Detained in Dubai, said: “It is quite outrageous that he has been held in the country for so long already.
“This is another example of how vulnerable tourists are to arrest and detention in Dubai and at how drawn-out and disorganised legal proceedings are.”
The organisation claims it was only after Mr Harron and his friend sat at a table that the man who had been touched seemed aggravated.
Police arrived at the scene “20 to 30” minutes later and arrested Mr Harron, according to his representatives.
The charges he faces in connection with the incident are said to be twofold – drinking alcohol and public indecency.
Mr Harron was reportedly locked up for five days in Al Barsha prison, before being released on bail and having his passport confiscated.
Ms Stirling added that following a conversation with Mr Harron, it was clear that he was under “immense pressure and stress”.
She said: “He was expecting to appear in court this Sunday, but the court moved the date without telling him or his lawyer.
“This led to a sentence of 30 days’ imprisonment for failing to present himself at the hearing.”
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: “We have been in contact with a British man following his arrest in Dubai in July. We are providing consular assistance.”