Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Rule of law, UAE-style

House of Commons Hansard Debates for 24 May 2005 (pt 35)

Scroll down to Russell Clamp.

"... After Mr. Clamp was released, he met up with others who had also been released from the same investigation. It appeared that the company SSS Corporate Research had a connection with Israel, and that Leisure International—the company that Mr. Clamp first set up—had done work in the past for SSS. Two days later,

24 May 2005 : Column 679

he was contacted by the British embassy and told that the prosecutor in Abu Dhabi wanted to ask some questions. Four appointments were made, which were not kept by that official.

On his final attempt to keep the appointment, Mr. Clamp was handcuffed and taken to a police holding cell in Dubai. Once again, he was stripped of all personal belongings. He was put in a cell with 16 other people. The cell was filthy, and its floor covered with rotten food and spit. The lavatory facilities were only very basic, and there were cockroaches. The 17 people in the cell had to sleep with their legs entwined.

Over the next five or six days, my constituent received several beatings from Arab inmates. He sustained two broken ribs, nine broken teeth, open wounds to his spine and lower back, and bruises over his entire body. In the end, he was moved into solitary confinement. He says that that cell was filthy but that at least he was safe from being beaten."

"... The Emirates are not a banana republic. They are not some poverty stricken third world country. They are more than able to afford decent prison conditions for those who, regrettably, have to be housed there. They are a country supposedly under the rule of law, but there is no redress under that law for people who are victims of its abuse, rather than its use and reasonable exercise. I am seriously concerned about this case and I am concerned by the apparent impotence of the Foreign Office in dealing with it. I do not mean that as a criticism. I do not suggest that the Foreign Office has not tried to deal with the matter, but it would appear to be as impotent as Mr. Clamp in achieving any result."

To think I gave an interview yesterday saying nice things about the place.


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