60-year-old Londoner 'beaten in Dubai prison'
A 60-year-old Londoner has been beaten and forced to watch others being tortured while detained in a UAE prison, according to reports.
Albert Douglas, from Enfield in north London, was imprisoned earlier this year after being slapped with a multi-million-pound fine accrued by his son. He then tried to smuggle himself out of the Gulf country following a failed legal appeal.
The British businessman was captured on route to Oman and given a three-year prison sentence.
“[My father] has been subjected to beatings and has watched other people being tortured - people being hung upside down and having their testicles burnt,” said Douglas’ son, Wolfgang,to MyLondon.
The 34-year-old said his father has been targeted after he fled to the UK and his cheques bounced, leaving Douglas to fit the bill for him.
#FreeAlbert has been held detained for crimes he has not committed. The prosecution has refused to instruct a forensic investigation that would exonerate Albert and have told Albert that his innocence is irrelevant, that "this is Dubai". https://t.co/X3F65mXbCP— Radha Stirling Detained in Dubai (@Radha_Stirling) September 8, 2021
In Dubai, anyone linked to a company that owes money can be prosecuted - and family members are often pursued.
“I am innocent and being made to pay the penalty for the debts of my son. I would not wish this on my worst enemy,” said Douglas to the MailOnline.
The grandfather was until recently denied access to medication for his heart condition. Douglas has been forced to drink from a toilet while detained, according to reports.
The family said he could face further charges because his own company, Alumni Flooring, which profited from the UAE property market, is facing financial difficulties.
“He’s now got an avalanche of his own problems. He’s now overwhelmed and he could spend the rest of his life in prison,” said Wolfgang.
The son said his father’s life “depends on help from [the UK] government”.
A UK Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We are supporting a British man following his arrest in the UAE. We are in regular contact with his family and have raised his case with the local authorities.”
Douglas moved to the UAE in 2003 and was one of the signatories on his son’s business Timberwolf until he gave up his involvement in 2018.