Families claims of a brutal police beating death in Dubai
Compiled from various sources
published: 4WardEver UK – June 2011
News updates listed at the foot of this item
Lee Brown, 39, a British tourist was allegedly beaten to death by police after being arrested for an argument with a hotel cleaner while on holiday in Dubai, it was claimed yesterday. He died on 12th April 2011 after just six days at the notorious Bur Dubai police station. Lee, from Dagenham in Essex, left his home the Wednesday before his death for a holiday in one of the world’s most luxurious hotels. But within hours of checking in at the Burj Al Arab he was arrested over an alleged argument with one of the hotel maids and was facing charges of assault, intimidating behaviour and use of abusive language.
It was reported that; ‘While there were some claims he had simply sworn at a hotel maid, the Dubai Public Prosecutor’s office said yesterday that he had been arrested for trying to hurl a maid from the sixth floor and traces of hashish were found in his urine samples. The prosecuting authority also said the cause of death was asphyxiation from Mr Bradley choking on his own vomit’.
Following his arrest, Lee was reportedly handcuffed, stripped and hit with batons. Prisoners are said to have phoned Lee’s family to warn them his life was in danger. One is alleged to have said: “It was inhuman. He was cuffed by his hands and legs. Officers were punching and kicking him. He was bleeding from the head and hands and pleading for them to stop.” The prisoners had found his sister’s phone number on a photocopy of Lee’s passport left in a cell.
The family contacted the British Embassy in Dubai with their concerns about his safety, but UK officials who visited the police station where he was being held were told he did not want to meet them, according to the founder of a support group for alleged victims of injustice in the United Arab Emirates.
Radha Stirling, from London-based Detained in Dubai, said: “Really, they should have been able to see him to make sure he was in a good condition, whether or not he wanted to speak to them.
“It does look like he was in a bad condition and the police didn’t want the embassy to see him. It’s quite a failure of process.”
After his funeral at City of London Cemetery, the family released new pictures of him and appealed to former Dubai prison inmates from all over the world to help them piece together what had really taken place.
His sister-in-law, Su Brown, said; “There have been so many stories from the Dubai authorities and the police there about how Lee died – that he was drunk, put in solitary confinement, beaten by other inmates.”
Lee’s brother, Steve, 37, a maintenance engineer, added: “This is someone who had no criminal record, no problems when he was at school – it’s just not him. Nobody can remember him ever laying a finger on anybody.”
Shortly after Lee’s death, Amnesty International urged the UAE to ensure a full investigation takes place, and the Foreign Office said it had spoken to Dubai police “at the highest level a number of times to stress the importance of a full investigation”.
Dubai police, quoted in the Abu Dhabi newspaper The National, said Brown’s body had no bruises or marks indicating an assault. “These reports in the media that he was beaten by police are a pack of lies,” an unnamed police official told the paper.
The official said Brown was vomiting on the day before his death but did not complain or ask for medical help.