Former British soldier held in Dubai for four months on drugs charges after ‘forced confession’
A British war veteran has been detained in Dubai for over four months over claims he sold drugs despite protesting his innocence, a rights group has said.
Andy Neal, 44, a father of two, was arrested on Oct 4 2018, where he was seized from his home and transferred to Dubai central prison.
The rights group Detained in Dubai claims he was "abruptly accosted" by seven Criminal Investigation Department officers in the basement car park of his apartment complex when coming home from work.
He was taken upstairs to his apartment, where the group says he was pinned against the wall and punched in the stomach. The police then told him they were aware he had been handling drugs, which Mr Neal denied.
Detained in Dubai claim that Mr Neal was forced to sign a confession in Arabic, which he could not read, saying he bought drugs from a man called Ray before selling them to a man named Ahmed.
The group said Ahmed retracted his statement in January, adding that no drugs were found in Mr Neal’s possession and all tests came back negative. While being questioned, Mr Neal said: “I have not said any of the things in the statement and had no dealings with any of this at all.”
Mr Neal served in the British army for 24 years. He had completed tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Ireland and was subsequently diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.