Unfortunately, many countries around the world are homophobic. We’ve recently written about the 34 people arrested in Egypt for holding a rainbow flag at a concert. And now, we’ve got a new absurd outrage — Jamie Harron is facing three years in a Dubai jail. His crime? Touching another man on the hip at a bar.
Harron is a Scottish electrician. He’s been working in Afghanistan, but he went for a two-day stopover in the United Arab Emirates. On July 15, he went to the crowded Dubai bar, the Rock Bottom Bar.
Making his way through the crowd, Harron put his hand on another man’s hip. It wasn’t any sort of advance — he was merely trying to keep his drink from spilling as he made his way through the bar.
Not even a half-hour later, police came to the bar and arrested Harron on two charges: drinking alcohol and public indecency.
Though Harron’s trip was only supposed to be two days, he’s been detained in Dubai since the incident. He spent five days in Al Barsha prison, until he was released on bail. They did, however, confiscate Harron’s passport.
Harron’s court date was originally set for tomorrow, October 8. However, the court moved his court date without informing him or his counsel. Since Harron didn’t appear in court, he was sentenced to 30 days for not being at a hearing he knew nothing about.
Since the incident, Harron has lost his job. He’s also spent over $39,000 in legal fees.
The advocacy group, Detained in Dubai, says Harron’s plight is a common problem. Chief executive Radha Stirling said “This is another example of how vulnerable tourists are to arrest and detention in Dubai and at how drawn out and disorganised legal proceedings are.”
Photo by Jamie Harron via Facebook