The question on most families' minds when a loved one is arrested in the Middle East is “will the British foreign office help us?” Prisoner Albert Douglas has passed a message to Billy’s family from Dubai prison in a telephone call today, “The FCDO has consistently let me down after I was beaten by prison guards. They have lied to my family and told them repeatedly that I had my heart medication when I didn’t. They have told us again and again that they can’t do anything. The truth is, they just don’t want to. While the US government, Canada and other countries step in, the UK are acting like puppets of the Emiratis, it’s disgraceful.
“I hope Billy doesn’t end up in Dubai’s jails. He’s a young boy who has been forced to confess to serious crimes that would ruin his whole life. I’m sitting here in prison with numerous others who have also been forced to confess, treated like animals, tortured and abused. I just got out of hospital for surgery from injuries inflicted by the prison guards and still, the UK does nothing. This situation needs urgent attention. We are collateral damage to Britain's trade deals. They are literally selling our souls”.
Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai who is representing both Billy Hood and Albert Douglas, said “Albert’s son attended the FCDO in London yesterday where he asked them what they are doing to end abuse against British citizens in the UAE. It was clear they had no plan nor any intention to ensure the safety of Brits abroad. They did not even want to entertain the idea of increasing travel warnings, despite several MP’s and Baroness Whitaker recommending this as a course of necessary action.”
Billy Hood, Albert Douglas, Laleh Shahravesh, Jamie Harron, Billy Barclay and numerous others have been absolutely stunned at the lack of care given by the FCO to people in serious trouble through no fault of their own. Instead, Detained in Dubai has had to take over the role of what should be the British government’s. “We have helped more than fifteen thousand individuals since 2008 and very rarely has the FCDO stepped in. In multiple cases, they have actually sought to hinder the help we have provided which prompts us to task who in fact, are they working for? Is it for UAE diplomats?