British fan detained in UAE lodges human rights complaint with UN

Ali Issa Ahmad claims he was detained and tortured while holidaying in the United Arab Emirates

A football fan has lodged a human rights complaint with the UN. Ali Issa Ahmad claims he was detained and tortured while holidaying in the United Arab Emirates. The Briton claims his ordeal was caused by his decision to wear a Qatar football shirt while in UAE.

Ahmad has submitted a 27-page document to the UN detailing his alleged detainment and torture in January and February. He claims to have been in the country to watch matches in the Asian Cup.

The complaint outlines accusations that include electric shocks, stabbings, and racial abuse alongside food, water and sleep deprivation. Mr Ahmad also alleges to have been repeatedly punched and kicked.

Mr Ahmad’s lawyer, Rodney Dixon QC, stated in a letter to the UN human rights high commissioner that the incident had infringed upon his client’s freedom of expression, right not to be tortured and the right not to be arbitrarily arrested and detained.

The UN isn’t often asked to intervene with national government cases but Mr Ahmad hopes the UN will provide answers as well as compensation for his hardship.

The United Arab Emirates officially cut diplomatic ties with Qatar in June 2017. The UAE attorney general later stated that displays of sympathy for their neighbour would be punished with three to 15 years imprisonment. Ahmad claims to have been unaware of the political situation.

Ahmad’s lawyer Rodney Dixon said: “It is a disgrace that Ali was tortured so cruelly and gratuitously while attending an international football tournament in the UAE. No football fan should have to endure this kind of inhuman and racist treatment.”

Officials in the UAE, however, reject Ahmad’s claims and have accused him of being an ‘attention-seeking liar’. Ahmad was also charged with making false statements and wasting police time.

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