Go to STV News

Electrician jailed for touching man's hip in Dubai freed

Campaigners say the case against Jamie Harron from Stirling has been dropped.

By STV News

Published 23 Oct 2017.

A Scot who was sentenced to three months in jail for touching a man's hip in a Dubai bar has been freed, according to campaigners.

Jamie Harron, 27, from Stirling, was arrested for public indecency in July but claimed he was trying to avoid spilling his drink when he touched the man in the United Arab Emirates.

On Sunday, he was sentenced to three months in prison - but now campaigners say the case against him has been dropped on order from the Ruler of Dubai.

Campaign group Detained in Dubai, which has been supporting Mr Harron, said he will now have his passport returned.

Detained in Dubai said: "Jamie Harron is now on his way to the police station to retrieve his passport, apparently on order from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

"Jamie Harron was called by police that the case has been dismissed and he can pick up his passport and is free to leave."

Mr Harron, an electrician, was stripped of his documents after he was arrested in July and he has been stranded in Dubai since then.

Radha Stirling, chief executive of Detained in Dubai, said Mr Harron was contacted by police last night to say his sentence has been overturned on order from the sheikh.

She said: "He nervously went to the police station today to get his passport but he was worried it was going to be a trap to re-arrest him.

"He is very relieved and in shock as he was not expecting this to happen.

"He has to arrange flights home now but he should be back in Britain imminently."

Ms Stirling said the sheikh ordered the charges to be dropped "because of so much international pressure and the fact it [the case] was affecting their tourism".

Mr Harron previously spent a week in prison following his arrest.

He was later sentenced to a month in prison and fined 2000 dirhams (£412) but released on bail.

Mr Harron has lost his job as an electrician and is now in debt after having to spend more than £32,000 while stuck in Dubai.

Businessman Emad Tabaza, who called police and claimed Mr Harron had been "very drunk" and "repeatedly" touched him at the popular Rock Bottom bar, claimed to have dropped the charge against Mr Harron earlier this month but prosecutors continued with the case.

Mr Harron, who worked as an electrician in Afghanistan, was on a two-day stopover in the United Arab Emirates at the time of the incident on 15 July.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: "We have been in contact with a British man following his arrest in Dubai in July. "We are providing consular assistance."

Advertisment