12:55pm Wednesday 1st May 2013
© Press Association 2013
The mother of one of three men who allege they were tortured in Dubai has urged David Cameron to press the United Arab Emirates to consider speedy pardons.
Tracy Cameron said she was confident of progress in the case after the Prime Minister pledged to raise the issue in Downing Street talks with the president of the UAE.
He said he would press for a "proper, independent investigation" into the allegations in a "frank" discussion of the UK's concerns with Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The president's state visit to Britain comes amid allegations that Grant Cameron and Suneet Jeerh, both 25, and Karl Williams, 26, were abused by police.
Mr Williams and Grant Cameron, both from Wanstead, north-east London, and Mr Jeerh, from Ilford, east London, have been jailed for four years each for possessing drugs in Dubai. They were convicted of possessing synthetic cannabis after being arrested in July last year while on holiday. Charges that they supplied the drug were dropped.
The men claim they signed documents in Arabic - a language none of them understands - following their arrests after they were threatened with guns to their heads. Mr Williams also reported having electric shocks administered to his testicles.
Grant Cameron's mother Tracy welcomed the Prime Minister's intervention but said she hoped he would go further in the talks. "I would like him to go one step further and see whether he can ask Sheikh Khalifa, if it's appropriate, to expedite any pardons that are going to be given to the boys," she said.
She said she was "very confident" that progress could be made in the case which had been a "catastrophic" experience for the families of the three young men.
Mrs Cameron said that her son had in general been "very well treated" and that she had developed "quite a rapport" with the Dubai authorities - blaming a minority of "mindless" police officers for the alleged torture. The police deny the claims.
Asked about the case, the Prime Minister told ITV's Daybreak: "What we've said, and the point I will make today, is that we think there needs to be a proper, independent investigation into these allegations of what happened. That is the first step really of working out what needs to happen next."
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