UK man held in UAE for wearing Qatar shirt pursues legal action

A British citizen who claims to have been detained, for wearing a Qatar t-shirt, and tortured has filled a human rights legal claim against the UAE.

Ali Issa Ahmed, a security guard from Wolverhampton, UK, was on a visit to the UAE when he received a ticket to a Qatar vs Iraq Asian Cup game that happened in Abu Dhabi.

Promoting Qatar in the UAE is a crime due to the recent political animosity between the two countries. It seems that Ali was not aware that the simple act of attending the game while wearing a Qatar t-shirt will lead him to trouble.

Ali says he was bullied and chased to his hotel by strangers, and when he went to file a report at the police station he was detained, and during his detention he was beaten, electrocuted, cut, burned, and interrogated on why he chose that t-shirt to wear. He also claims he was stabbed while he was sleeping, one of his teeth was broken during his beatup, and that he was forced to sign a confession that he was intentionally attempting to “waste police time”.

Ali returned to the UK with scars and bruises and is now filing a human rights claim for physical and psychological damage. He says that he is no longer able to sleep, and has become obsessive about locking his room door at night, which was not the case before.

The UAE denied the allegations with one of their embassies releasing a statement that “He was categorically not arrested for wearing a Qatar football shirt. This is instead an instance of a person seeking media attention and wasting police time.”

Ali’s response: “I must challenge their lies. I have the truth, I have the scars. I am suffering a lot from what they did to me. They cannot be allowed to keep doing this to people.”

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