Skip to main content

United Arab Emirates: Prisoners

Volume 478: debated on Thursday 26 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations the Government have made on behalf of British citizens imprisoned in the United Arab Emirates; and if he will make a statement. (212092)

There are currently 43 British citizens imprisoned in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Consular officers can consider approaching the local authorities only if a British citizen is not treated according to internationally accepted standards. This may include where a trial does not follow internationally recognised standards for a fair trial or is unreasonably delayed compared to local cases. We have no record of any such approaches having been made in the UAE in recent years.

Additionally, with the prisoner's permission, consular officers can take up any justified complaint about ill treatment, personal safety, or discrimination with the police or prison authorities. We have no record of any such issues having been raised in recent times with UAE authorities. However, we have on occasion brought welfare concerns to the attention of prison authorities. These usually involve dietary and medical issues raised by prisoners. Our consulate in Dubai has taken up four cases of ill treatment with the Dubai authorities in the last three years. Posts also continue to liaise with the authorities in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi to ensure that the appeals are progressing.