Man facing jail in Dubai for touching another man’s hip could have charges dropped
The British man who was facing a possible three-year jail sentence for touching another man’s hip could be home soon.
Jamie Harron, a 27-year-old electrician from Stirling, was arrested for public indecency after he touched another man in a bar, apparently to avoid spilling a drink.
The alleged incident took place at the Rock Bottom Bar on July 15.
It is believed that Harron could face a three-year sentence, but the man who he touched is reported to have dropped the complaint on learning the harshness of the sentence the Briton was facing.
The man’s employer Neuman & Esser said: “With a certain distance from the incident and the punishment to be expected for the suspect, our employee decided to withdraw the complaint despite the harassment having been confirmed by several witnesses.
“However, according to the typical laws for the country, this does not automatically result in the termination of the proceedings as, for example, very likely in England or Germany.”
The charge is due to be heard in court on October 22.
Harron has already been fined, sentenced to 30 days in prison and will be deported for drinking alcohol and “making a rude gesture”.
His lawyers have submitted an appeal. Harron is said to have admitted drinking alcohol but denied making the gesture.
Pressure group Detained In Dubai has taken up Harron’s cause.
It describes itself as “a not for profit organisation formed to assist people who have become victims of injustice in the United Arab Emirates”.
Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai, said: “Regarding the alcohol charges, of course he was drinking, everyone was. The entire enforcement system in the UAE needs an overhaul.
“The case has prompted 80 messages an hour of support and has even prompted calls for a boycott of the UAE over its treatment of expats and tourists.”
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Harron’s parents Graham and Patricia recently spoke out about their worry for their son.
“We can’t believe that this nightmare has gone on for three months,” said his father Graham.
“Jamie is a good boy. He has never been a problem and never in trouble. We are a very close family and it is killing us to think of him spending even 3 nights in jail, let alone 3 years.”
Gay sex is illegal for men and women in the United Arab Emirates under section 354 of the federation’s legal code.
Punishment can include deportation, chemical castrations, fines and prison time. While the legal code mentions the death penalty, it has not been implemented for same-sex relations in the country.