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61 year old British cancer victim jailed in Dubai for his prescription anxiety meds. Facing 4 year s

Perry Coppins. Maritime security officer, now desperately ill and facing jail in Dubai

A 61 year old British man has been arrested in the United Arab Emirates for anti-anxiety medication that is legal in the UAE with prescription because a customs officer believed he had ‘too many pills’. Perry tried to explain to the officer that he had to have enough to last him for his 6 month voyage at sea; but to no avail. Perry is now detained in Dubai and denied not only his medication, but even treatment for his prostate cancer.

Perry Coppins, a maritime security officer from Nottingham in the UK has been diagnosed with anxiety and for the last 21 years has been taking Temazepam, Clonazepam and Citalopram prescribed by his GP. Without these medications, like one in ten Brits, he can not function. As Perry is at sea for months on end, he has to bring enough of his prescribed medication to last the voyage. He knows to keep his prescription paperwork with him to satisfy customs officers at the various ports through which he passes. During the luggage check at Fujairah seaport, Perry’s prescription paperwork was not accepted by an overzealous customs man. Despite Perry’s explanations and documentation, the CID were called, and Perry was arrested and thrown in jail for 5 weeks while waiting for his first court appearance.