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Family's desperate plea to save grandfather Albert from 'totally inhumane' Dubai jail



A family is appealing for a grandfather to be released from a Dubai jail after he was imprisoned following the downfall of his son's company.

Albert Douglas, 60, is from London originally but his family splits their time between the capital and Retford.

His son, Wolfgang Douglas, 34, told Lincolnshire Live: "My father had his own independent company in the Emirates and when me and him were living out there we had our own companies.

"While I was in the UK, due to a series of uncontrollable events, my company failed and in the Emirates that is considered to be a criminal offence.

"There are no bankruptcy laws to protect investors.

"What they will do is that they will take family members and associates in lieu and throw them in prison."


In 2019, the 60-year-old businessman was handed a £2.5 million fine despite him having left his son's firm in 2018 and not being connected to it other than through blood.

After losing an appeal to this fine, Mr Douglas tried to flee the prison with the help of people smugglers however he was caught at the Oman border and was handed a three-year prison sentence.


His son Wolfgang alleges that both before and after his father's attempts to escape the jail, he was subjected to human rights abuses.

He claims: "The jails over there are not like the jails here. Torture is Monday for them.

"We went the legal road and paid around £850,000 to lawyers and because the country is run by a system known as wasta, which is all about who you know rather than what you know, a local claiming will always win.

"You have to prove your innocence in that country, completely opposite to what it is here.

"He was brought to a prison where he was beaten so badly that afterwards, he would bleed from his ears.

"20-year-old boys in his cell were being hung upside down and beaten for sport.

"He is in an environment where a young man below his bunk had his privates burnt off with blowtorches to get confessions.

"This is not prison, this is not serving time.

"He did not commit a crime to begin with, he lost faith in the law and that is why he tried to escape - he holds his hands up to that."

The 60-year-old is now being held on charges of fraud against him and his son claims that his dad is unlikely to be released from prison without the government's intervention.

Mr Douglas is currently imprisoned in the Bur Dubai jail.

Wolfgang continues: "We are talking to the Foreign Office at the moment who have done less than nothing.


"The fact that one cheque can bounce and you can end up being beaten because of it should be made clear by the government before you embark to the UAE.


"Today I am fighting for my father but once this is over I will be fighting for everybody else.

"It is truly inhumane over there."


Wolfgang told Lincolnshire Live that the whole ordeal has severely affected his family.


"My mother who lives in Retford is going through serious mental health issues at the moment," he added.

"She has gone from living on a house on the beach while married to a law-abiding man to now seeing him being tortured in a manner considerably worse than you would ever treat an animal in a cage.


"What they call a criminal act does not even constitute a crime in this country."


A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: "We are supporting a British man following his arrest in the UAE. We are in regular contact with his family in the UK and have raised his case with the local authorities."


Lincolnshire Live also contacted the UAE government however we have yet to receive a response.


As well as petitioning the government and MPs to intervene in Mr Douglas' case, his family have also hired a human rights specialist from a group called Detained in Dubai.

Commenting on the case, she said: "We are absolutely outraged by his (Albert Douglas') treatment and so is Albert's family.


"It is degrading, inhumane and criminal. This is not an isolated incident.

"It is absolutely unacceptable that an ally of the United Kingdom, a trade partner and a holiday destination for citizens, continues to force confessions, lock innocent people up, violate human rights and torture our citizens.


"The Foreign Office needs to ensure Albert's speedy return to his family in the UK. This simply can't go on."


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