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  • Detained in Dubai

FCDO failure in Albert Douglas case

While Johnson and UK's Ambassador to the UAE, Patrick Moody, focus on increased energy production

Grandfather Albert Douglas has been held as an economic hostage in Dubai. He has been beaten, tortured and denied his medication, but the FCDO says “torture in itself is not grounds for a clemency application”.

The UK claimed Albert was their “top diplomatic priority” but the frail grandfather who is currently living in prison with broken bones has seen no change in his situation. “Yes, Dubai medics have confirmed that he was beaten and that he suffers permanent disability as a result” Albert’s son Wolfgang explains, “he has been seen by someone claiming to be a Dubai human rights officer but how does this help him? He’s still in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, is still living with broken bones as a result of being beaten by guards and there is no clear path to his release. This is insufficient and the British government must do more to help him”.

With dwindling diplomatic influence in the region, the UK seems apprehensive to ask the UAE to seriously look into Albert’s case or that of other citizens who have been unfairly detained. They appear to be completely neglecting opportunities to diplomatically discuss a resolution while opting to negotiate energy deals. “To be clear”, says Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai, “these are not cases of British nationals breaking the law and suffering the consequences. These are cases where citizens have been scapegoated or wrongfully convicted and where the evidence has been ignored by the haphazard justice system of Dubai. The victims of this injustice are then maltreated, abused and subjected to human rights violations and torture. This should be intolerable to the United Kingdom”.

The Foreign Office has come under fire over the detention of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt calling for an investigation into their inefficiencies, but Nazanin’s case was far more complex to solve. She was accused of being a spy and held by a non-allied country whom we owed a debt to. Her case was resolved after six year’s detentio