Tragedy: British tourist Lee Bradley Brown, who was thought to have been staying at the Burj Al Arab hotel, was allegedly beaten to death in a Dubai police station after being arrested for swearing
- 'The guards tried to hush it up and pretend nothing had happened’
A British tourist was beaten to death by officers in a Dubai police station after being arrested for swearing, it was claimed yesterday.
Lee Bradley Brown, 39, was on holiday at a £1,000-a-night hotel in the Arab state when he was thrown into a filthy cell.
Police sources say he was ‘badly beaten up’ by a group of police officers, leaving him unconscious on the floor.
Inmates told how they watched officers bundle him into a body-bag and drag him out of the building.
During Mr Brown’s six days in Bur Dubai police station, guards refused to give him enough food and water and did not let him see a lawyer, it is alleged.
His sister learned about the attack when she received a phone call from an inmate on Sunday, claiming her brother had been beaten.
The prisoner found her phone number on a photocopy of her brother’s passport which had been left behind in the cell.
She contacted the British Embassy in Dubai, and on Monday an official was sent to visit Mr Brown at the police station.
But the official was turned away by an officer who claimed Mr Brown did not want to see him and had ‘declined consular assistance’.
His sister, who did not want to be named, received another phone call from the inmate saying he had seen her brother’s body being taken out in a body-bag.
A source told the Daily Mail last night: ‘He suffered a really bad beating which must have caused some terrible internal injuries.
‘The poor bloke stood no chance at all. At one stage he was thrown against the concrete wall of a cell and landed badly.
‘Then the guards tried to hush it up and pretend nothing had happened.’
'The poor bloke stood no chance at all': Lee Bradley Brown was on holiday in the Arab state when he was arrested
The British Embassy officially told his family about his death yesterday.
Bur Dubai police station is a notoriously violent place where beatings, starvation, rape and the force-feeding of drugs is common-place.
Foreign prisoners are often kept in cramped cells with up to 20 inmates for weeks for trivial offences.
Human rights charities say police officers regularly refuse to allow inmates to make a phone call or access to a lawyer.
They say prisoners are sometimes beaten and coerced into signing confessions written in Arabic.
Brutal: Mr Brown was held for six days in the notoriously violent Bur Dubai police station
Yesterday Mr Brown’s sister described her anger and heartache at her loss. Speaking outside his home in Dagenham, East London, she said: ‘It is very difficult at the moment as you would expect, and his mum is extremely upset.
‘We were the ones that first contacted the British Embassy in Dubai with concerns after an inmate out there got in touch with us.
‘We were told unofficially on Tuesday it was true, and the worst was confirmed today. We are unable to be out there. All we have had is one call from officials telling us that he’s dead.
‘The inmates we spoke to at the jail are currently waiting to give statements to the police.
Enlarge Dubai custody death: Lee Brown allegedly suffered severe beatings at the hands of police
‘But they’re now in fear for their own lives.’
Mr Brown, who ran a maintenance business, flew to Dubai on his own for a last-minute holiday and was thought to have been staying in the Burj Al Arab, a seven-star hotel where rooms cost at least £1,000 a night.
A source at Dubai Public Prosecution said he was arrested on April 6 over allegations of assault, intimidating behaviour and using abusive language.
A British Embassy spokesman said: ‘I can confirm the man died in custody and that the embassy is taking the allegations very seriously. We are launching an investigation and working with Dubai police.’
Radha Stirling, founder of UK-based charity Detained in Dubai, said she hoped a full inquiry will be carried out.
‘Police stations in Dubai are notoriously brutal and the one that this poor man was in is by far the worst,’ she said.
‘I have never come across any allegations as serious as this.
‘Cells are usually covered in human faeces and can contain up to 20 prisoners in each one. Most will be forced to sleep on the floor.
‘They are often denied the basic rights you would expect in a police station.
‘You have to remember that these people have not even been found guilty in a court of law.’
A Dubai police spokesman said they would carry out their own investigation once the results of a post-mortem examination, which may take three days, are known.
Read more: British tourist Lee Bradley Brown 'beaten to death' in Dubai police cell | Mail Online