ABU DHABI ( Halbeeg News)-A British man, who claimed to have been harassed and detained in the UAE for wearing a Qatar football shirt during the AFC Asian Cup, has been charged for making false statements, Emirati officials said.
Ali Essa Ahmed, a dual Sudanese-British citizen, was accused of wasting police time after he reported getting beaten up by Emirati fans for supporting the Qatari team, the UAE embassy in London said in a statement late on Tuesday.
“The police took him to the hospital where a doctor who examined him concluded that his injuries were inconsistent with his account of the event and appeared to be self-inflicted,” the embassy statement read.
Ahmed, 26, from Wolverhampton in central England and an Arsenal fan, was in the UAE on holiday when he attended Qatar’s group match against Iraq on January 22, his friend Amer Lokie, told the guarding.
According to Lokie’s account published in the newspaper on Tuesday, his friend was detained and assaulted for wearing a football jersey that promoted Qatar at the match in Abu Dhabi.
Showing sympathy for Qatar is punishable in the UAE with a jail term of up to 15 years.
The sanctions were imposed after the Emirati state, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar, accusing the Gulf state of supporting “terrorism”.
Doha has repeatedly and vehemently denied the allegations.
After his release, Ahmed went to a police station in the city of Sharjah to report his initial assault and was detained and accused of telling lies, Lokie said.
Ahmed, who was charged on January 24, “has since admitted those offenses and will now be processed through the UAE courts”, the embassy said.
The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was “providing assistance to a British man arrested in the UAE and are in touch with the local authorities”.
Source: AlJazeera English