A Scottish man accused of public indecency in Dubai has had the charges against him dropped after the ruler of the Emirate of Dubai intervened.
Jamie Harron from Stirling claims he innocently touched his accuser in a crowded bar to avoid spilling a drink.
The 27-year-old received the sentence at the weekend. Campaigners acting on his behalf say he was not being held in custody while the appeal was considered, but his passport had been confiscated and he could not leave the territory.
The young electrician was on a stopover in the Gulf city state in July after working in Afghanistan. He was in the bar at the Rock Bottom Cafe when he claims he innocently touched his accuser to avoid spilling a drink.
The other man, a Jordanian senior employee of a German engineering company, complained to police and the Scot was arrested for public indecency. Since the altercation he has lost his job and spent more than 30,000 pounds trying to defend himself.
The campaign group Detained in Dubai, which warns that many visitors risk falling foul of strict morality laws in the United Arab Emirates. Its CEO Radha Stirling has said that “it is clear to all parties that this has ben blown out of proportion”.
Harron has strongly rebutted his accuser’s suggestions that he was drunk and belligerent, claiming he had only consumed three beers and citing witnesses as describing the Jordanian as having been confrontational.
It has been reported that the Briton’s accuser called for charges to be dropped, although Detained in Dubai says this was not communicated. The Dubai Public Prosecutor’s office continued its investigation into what it considered to be a criminal matter.
The campaign group says Harron intends to take legal action against his accuser once he returns to Britain. Stirling claims that the Scot has received many messages of support and that the case has led to calls for a boycott of the UAE and a significant number of cancelled trips.