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Tourists Tortured in Dubai Over "Spice"

Three Brits on vacation were reportedly brutally abused after being busted.

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By Ben Feuerherd

02/21/13

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Three British men were reportedly tortured in Dubai after their arrests for alleged possession of the synthetic drug "spice." The Daily Mail reports that childhood friends Grant Cameron and Karl Williams, along with Suneet Jeerh, were arrested last July and have been held since. Spice is a synthetic form of marijuana that has an ambiguous legal track record in the United States: The DEA banned synthetic drugs, but makers of the product switch the recipe to include chemicals that have so far remained legal. But there's nothing ambiguous about its status in Dubai. After their arrest, the three Brits were reportedly subjected to brutal torture by Dubai's police. Williams' brother, who has flown to Dubai, says "Karl had his hand broken within days of being arrested and has had a metal plate inserted. He has been hospitalized a number of times because he has a nut allergy and they have repeatedly given him food containing nuts. His treatment is a disgrace." Williams himself adds in a draft witness statement: "Once I had been knocked to the ground, the police picked me up and put me on the bed. They pulled down my trousers, spread my legs and started to electrocute my testicles. It was unbelievably painful. I was so scared." 

The three were defended at their first trial hearing today by a lawyer hired by Reprieve, a human rights group. All are charged with "consumption and possession of drugs with intent to distribute," and all adamantly deny the charges. Mark Calcutt, the Reprieve lawyer, says of the case: "The Dubai authorities need to immediately drop the charges against the men and conduct an independent investigation into how these terrible events occurred. If they do not, I am sure this story will linger in people’s memories, particularly when it comes to booking their holidays."

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