Tourist Will Go to Jail for Brushing Man's Hip at Dubai Bar
Jamie Harron, 27, was handed a 3-month sentence over July 15 incident
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2017 4:07 PM CDT
In this Oct. 7, 2016 file photo, people watch the sunset over the skyline, with Burj Khalifa at right, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.   (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)

(Newser) – A Scottish tourist says he was just trying not to spill his drink while at a Dubai bar, and he'll spend time in jail for it. The BBC reports Jamie Harron, 27, was handed a 3-month sentence for touching a man's hip, something Harron says happened while he was walking with a drink in the crowded Rock Bottom Cafe on July 15; he says he put out his hand "to avoid impact" with a patron, but the incident led to a public indecency charge. Though the BBC reports the man whose hip Harron brushed dropped the complaint (the Guardian is less firm on this point, and says there are no court records to back this up), prosecutors went ahead with the case. The group Detained in Dubai has been championing Harron's cause and complaining about what it sees as deficiencies in his defense, including "key witnesses" who were not asked to testify.

It says an appeal is planned, "though this will prolong his increasingly difficult circumstances in Dubai, and compound the enormous financial losses he has suffered as a consequence of the ongoing case." The group's CEO adds that his family hasn't been able to be by his side, as "they faced a very real risk of imprisonment themselves under the UAE's cybercrime laws which forbid criticism of the government." Harron, an electrician, stopped off in Dubai for a couple days en route to a job in Afghanistan. The Guardian reports Harron's court ordeal isn't over, as he still faces additional charges related to drinking alcohol and allegedly swearing at the man he brushed up against.

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