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17 Oct 2017

Parents of man arrested for indecency in Dubai say his life is ‘ruined’

The parents of a Brit facing three years in a Dubai jail over allegations he touched a man on the hip in a bar have said their son’s life has been “ruined”.

Jamie Harron, 27, has been stripped of his passport and is awaiting his fate after he was accused of public indecency in the United Arab Emirates city.

German business Emad Tabaza called the police and claimed Mr Harron had been “very drunk” and “repeatedly” touched him during the incident in July.

However, in a statement through Neuman & Esser, the company he works for, Tabaza has revealed that he is dropping charges.

Harron’s family says the “consequences are very serious and they can ruin people’s lives”.

Dad Graham, from Stirling, said: “We were really surprised to see the statement of the company.

“They said he had dropped the charges in August but they never spoke to our lawyer and nothing changed.

“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. Maybe it wasn’t his [Tabaza’s] intention for it to go so far, but it has, and we are all suffering for it.”

Neuman and Esser, an international mechanical engineering group, is now facing increasing public backlash over its support for Tabaza.

Harron sent a voicemail to Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai who is assisting with his case.

In the “heart-wrenching” message, he said: “I heard a rumour that the accuser dropped the case against me and thought I would be freed.

“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 added: “I have been here for five months now. I thought it was going to go overnight and I would be 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 and 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.”

Stirling said: “Neuman & Esser is a multimillion dollar company with considerable influence in the UAE, their statement aligning themselves with the Public Prosecutor’s Office may well impact the outcome of Jamie’s case.

“Again, it is curious that Neuman & Esser would choose to take the side of the prosecution in this matter rather than calling for the case to be dismissed as their own employee supposedly wanted.

“They have positioned themselves on the opposite side of overwhelming public opinion, not only about Jamie’s case, but about the justness of the UAE legal system.

“We fail to see how this is in Mr Tabaza’s or Neuman & Esser’s best interests, and it may well lead to the irreparable ruin of an innocent young man’s life.”

David Haigh, Managing Partner at legal advisory Stirling Haigh, said: “Having read the statement by Neuman & Esser, it seems it is nothing more than damage limitation of a corporate trying to excuse the zealousness and vindictive attitude of one of its elderly and senior staff in attempting to destroy a young Brits life.”

The incident occurred at the Rock Bottom Bar in Dubai — a popular venue for young people in the Tecom area of the city.

Harron has spent over £32,000 in expenses and legal fees trying to resolve the matter, lost his job, and has also been stripped of his documents.

He has already been sentenced to a month in prison and fined 2,000 dirhams (£412) for drinking and making a rude gesture.

He is due to appear at court on 22 October.

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