Gay Briton fights extradition to Dubai

A gay man is resisting extradition to the United Arab Emirates, where homosexuality is a crime, because he fears he could be tortured and punished disproportionately.

The unusual case of Michael Halliday, 32, from the Midlands, who faces a theft charge in Dubai, is due to be decided by Westminster magistrates court this week.

One disturbing aspect of the case, according to his lawyers, is that an independent expert sent out to Dubai by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which is acting as legal agent for the UAE in the case, was refused access to inspect prison conditions.


The court has been told that over the past five years there have been 43 cases of complaints by British nationals of torture or mistreatment within the UAE justice system. Of those, 37 related to British nationals detained in Dubai and 19 of them alleged they had suffered physical beatings.
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According to legal papers submitted by Halliday’s lawyers, letters from the Foreign Office state that “25 allegations were of physical assaults; these ranged from a slap to repeated assault. Other complaints included forced confessions and deprivation of food, water and use of toilet.”
The theft allegation relates to money said to have disappeared from a safe at a department store where Halliday formerly worked. The formal request for his extradition was made by the UAE in June last year.
Hailliday, who denies the accusation, worked as an operations manager, developing the retail site. He told the Guardian: “I’m extremely worried. If I was sent back I don’t believe I could defend myself in court or have a fair trial. The fact that I’m openly gay would mean that there would be prejudice against me.

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