MY PRISON HELL I’m trapped in hellhole Dubai jail for crime I didn’t commit
AN INNOCENT British grandad has revealed the horrors from inside a hellhole prison in the UAE where he is trapped for a crime he claims he didn't commit.
Speaking from his cell in Dubai Central Prison, the 60-year-old Albert Douglas disclosed to The Sun Online how prisoners are raped, tortured and even starved by the cruel guards.
Albert, originally from London, was detained earlier this year over a bounced cheque that he claims he did not write.
And even though forensic tests proved the cheque was not his, the expat tycoon was hit by a string of other trumped-up charges.
The grandad was initially sentenced to two years in prison but now faces another three years in the hellhole jail over the same "fraudulent" cheque.
Dubai's prisons have been at the centre of controversy over the past number of years due to the horrific conditions prisoners are reported to have faced.
But now The Sun Online has been given a first account of the horrors faced by inmates.
Since being imprisoned, Albert claims to have witnessed cellmates raped for being gay and even saw one inmate attempt suicide
The 60-year-old told his son about how twenty-year-old boys in his cell were hung upside down and beaten for "sport" and recalled how a great-grandad was just "skin and bone" after being starved for weeks.
Guards at the Central prison are also alleged to have burnt off the private parts of a prisoner who was stationed in the bunk below Albert.
Prisoners have also allegedly been subjected to inhumane conditions including drinking from a communal toilet.
"During this time of incarnation, I've seen a man commit suicide and saw another one try to hang himself," Mr Douglas said in a voice recording released to The Sun Online by human rights organisation Detained in Dubai that is fighting Albert's case.
"I've seen a gay man raped and seen the systematic abuse of African and Asian people based purely and simply because of the colour of their skin."
Before his legal nightmare, Albert was a millionaire who drove a Rolls-Royce and lived in a luxury villa on the emirate's Jumeirah Island.
He was first held over a bounced cheque allegedly linked to his son's failed flooring business.
Albert was fined £2.5million, even though he had no role in the company, and was jailed for three years after losing an appeal.
All of his assets were taken by the Government when he was jailed and the grandad has spent over £1million in the courts in a vain bid to clear his name.
Dubai courts can also find family members and associates criminally liable for another person's debts.
His family is urging the UK government to use diplomatic pressure to help free Albert from the hellhole jail.
"For five months I've been deprived of my heart medicine and any medical treatment for my injuries Albert Douglas
During his nine months of incarceration, Albert said he was given the duty to care for the 73-year-old British-Australian William Meyerhoff with who he shared a "filthy" cell.
Meyerhoff was arrested in May during a stop-off on a flight to Australia for a bounced cheque he denies writing.
"When I met him he looked like a Jewish Holocaust prisoner of war," Albert explained.
"He was just skin and bones. He actually said to me one night: 'Let me die. I would be better off.'"
As what he has endured, Albert said he was beaten and tortured by Dubai police for asking for his heart medicine and even had his shoulder dislocated from the brutal beatings.
"For five months I've been deprived of my heart medicine and any medical treatment for my injuries," he said on Wednesday.
"My left shoulder is dislocated. I've had three bones broken in my right arm and I've got back injuries."
Albert, who has been in prison since February 16, shared a stark warning to others who hope to set up a glamorous new life in Dubai.
"For all those businessmen that want to come over here and see towers and sparkling buildings be aware of what can happen to you. All that shines isn't gold - I assure you."
Representing Mr Douglas, human rights lawyer Radha Stirling of Detained in Dubai said: "Albert Douglas was beaten by prison guards, denied his heart medication and was forced to suffer inhumane conditions, including drinking from a toilet.
"He has been interrogated, threatened and suffered attempts to force him to confess to a crime he has not committed.
"Albert has maintained that he is innocent throughout, refusing to submit to pressure while putting his life at risk."
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the UAE Ministry for Foreign Affairs have been contacted for comment.
Originally published in The Sun: Niamh Cavanagh 11 Nov 2021