British student jailed for nine years in Dubai over £3 worth of cocaine

Updated: 

British student jailed for nine years in Dubai over £3 worth of cocaine

A British student has been sentenced to nine years in jail in Dubai - for possessing cocaine worth less than £5.

Ahmad Zeidan, 21, who was born in Reading, was studying aviation in Dubai. He was arrested last December in the neighbouring emirate of Sharjah after going for a drive with two acquaintances.

Their car was stopped by police, and 0.04g of cocaine, worth around £3 in Britain, was found in the glove compartment.

Zeidan said he did not even know the drugs were in the car, and barely knew the driver.

He said he only signed a confession, in Arabic, after being repeatedly beaten, stripped naked, and threatened with sexual assault.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, he said: "I didn't know what I was signing. I can't read Arabic. But I wanted the torture to stop.

"I had no idea there were drugs in the car. I only signed the papers after hours and hours of torture that went on for days."

Back in February 2013, three British tourists who were arrested for allegedly possessing cannabis while on holiday in Dubai claimed they were tortured by police.

Grant Cameron and Karl Williams, 25, from London, and Suneet Jeerh, 25, from Essex, were taken into custody while on holiday in July 2012.

According to the charity, Reprieve, the three men all signed documents in Arabic they did not understand.

In a draft witness statement given to Reprieve lawyer Marc Calcutt, Mr Williams alleged he was mistreated by police. According to the BBC, it read: "I remember that the police put a towel on my face so I could not see. They kept telling me I was going to die. I was so scared."

Mr Williams said he was placed on a bed where electric shocks were administered to his testicles.

In April 2013, they were each sentenced to four years in prison, reports the Huffington Post.

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