British tourist Jamie Harron has been sentenced to jail in Dubai after accidentally touching a man’s hip, campaigners have said.  

He faces three months in prison but his lawyers plan to appeal. 

Campaign group Detained in Dubai (DiD) said Mr Harron, from Stirling, Scotland, was “angry, disappointed, and dreads what may happen next”.

He is not being held in custody while the appeal is considered, according to DiD chief executive Radha Stirling.

But his passport has been confiscated and he cannot leave Dubai. 

The 27-year-old electrician was on a stopover in the Gulf city state when he brushed past a man in a bar. 

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 later arrested for public indecency. 

Ms Stirling said: “Now Jamie has been sentenced to three months; there is no telling whether a judgement on appeal will be better or worse.

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“He has already suffered tremendously as a result of these allegations, and now faces the likelihood of incarceration.

“His family was unable to visit him during this critical time because they faced a very real risk of imprisonment themselves under the UAE’s cyber crime laws which forbid criticism of the government.

“At this point, Jamie will definitely be pursuing civil action against his accusers when he does eventually return home, as it appears that he will not be able to find justice in the UAE.”

She added: “He feels betrayed and exploited by the system, which did not investigate the reports of key witnesses in his defence and led him to believe that the case would be dropped.”

The electrician was working in Afghanistan and was on a two-day stopover in the United Arab Emirates in July when he was arrested.

He since lost his job because of his detainment. 

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: “We have been in contact with a British man following his arrest in Dubai in July. We are providing consular assistance.”

Independent

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