Coroner tells FCDO to increase Dubai travel warnings.
The inquest into the death of Lee Bradley Brown heard that the number of new cases of Britons reporting torture or mistreatment in Dubai to the Foreign Office had surged from 3 per cent of the global total to 13 per cent in just four years, but “that is only the tip of the iceberg”, explained Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai who has advocated for victims since 2008.
The Coroner produced a prevention of future deaths report, released on Tuesday. London coroner Nadia Persaud raised fears future deaths could occur because the FCDO does not have an emergency access protocol to reach detained Britons in similar situations.
In the report issued to the Foreign Office, Ms Persaud said: “In my opinion there is a risk that future deaths could occur unless action is taken.” The report also said current travel advice was “insufficient” because it does not have enough information about being arrested in Dubai and the consequences. Stirling was pleased the coroner reflected “what the High Court of England has said and what has already been raised in Parliament on numerous occasions.
In a statement published by Detained in Dubai, Mr Brown’s mother Doris said: “I cannot imagine how awful his last moments must have been. It makes me incredibly sad and angry.
“I can’t believe that he died at the hands of savage monsters when he had done nothing wrong. They made up lies about him and took my life too. He was my life.”
The group’s CEO, Radha Stirling, testified at the inquest and told Ms Persaud that “numerous Brits had since reported human rights violations and torture” and that British courts decline extradition requests because of the “real risk of human rights violations and torture”.
The FCO is broken The first thing most foreign nationals do when they experience problems abroad is to contact their embassies. It is fair to say that people expect their countries’ diplomats to swoop in and protect them with all the weight of their governments behind them. Due Process Newsroom & Media Centre
She raised the case of Albert Douglas, a 60-year-old Londoner who claims his head was “kicked around like a football” while in custody at Al Ain Prison. “The grandfather has been beaten and tortured by prison guards and yet remains in prison with little FCDO help”, said Albert’s son Wolfgang Douglas who also attended the inquest.
“The UAE authorities do not appear to have learned any lessons,” said Ms Stirling. “There have been no consequences for the Emirates and we continue to receive reports of abuse, violence and torture”.
“We are pleased that after a decade of lobbying for an increase to travel warnings, the FCDO can not turn a blind eye anymore”.
FCDO Responsibilities: Are Conflicting Goals Diminishing Efficacy? The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) with its 14,000 staff is tasked with promoting British interests abroad but the government department’s goals are often conflicting in nature Due Process Newsroom & Media Centre
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