A Scot facing a three-year jail sentence in Dubai after touching a man’s hip in a bar has spoken of his “unbearable” ordeal as the case against him continues.
Jamie Harron, from Stirling, was arrested for public indecency after putting a hand on the man to avoid spilling a drink as he moved through a crowded bar, campaign group Detained in Dubai (DiD) said.
The 27-year-old electrician now faces up to three years in jail and has lost his job following the incident.
He had hoped to be home soon after his accuser dropped the complaint against him but local prosecution services are proceeding with the case.
DiD released details of a voicemail from Mr Harron to its chief executive Radha Stirling, in which he said: “I heard a rumour that the accuser dropped the case against me and thought I would be freed.
“Now I am being told that the prosecutors are not dropping the case, even though the accuser withdrew the complaint. It looks like this is going to continue.”
Mr Harron had been working in Afghanistan and was on a two-day stopover in the United Arab Emirates when the incident happened.
He said: “I have been here for five months now. I thought it was going to be a brief stop in Dubai, before starting my job.
“I took this job in Afghanistan in a risky situation because I wanted to give myself a good start in life.
“I wanted everything right and organised for the future. It’s all backfired now.
“Now, because of all this mess over a two-day stopover, I am in debt and stand to lose my house, everything I’ve worked for, and my freedom.
“All of the support from everyone back home has just made me feel so homesick. I miss my family so much.
“The whole situation is just unbearable. I just feel shattered but I want to send my appreciation to everyone who is trying to help me and I really hope to see you all soon.”
His father Graham said “Our son is still being prosecuted and still faces jail time. People need to understand that it is not a joke to make complaints to the police, especially in that country.
“The consequences are very serious and they can ruin people’s lives as they have Jamie’s.”
Mr Harron has already been sentenced in absentia to 30 days in prison for making a rude gesture and drinking alcohol.
According to DiD, he admitted drinking alcohol at the Rock Bottom Bar party spot after being arrested in July but denied making a rude gesture. His lawyers have submitted an appeal.
In relation to the alleged public indecency charge, Mr Harron is said to have been holding a drink, moving through a crowded bar and held a hand in front of him to avoid spilling it on himself or others. He then ‘’touched a man on his hip to avoid impact’’.
He was then charged with public indecency, locked up for five days in Al Barsha prison, then released after bail with his passport confiscated.
The next court hearing is set for October 22.