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Woman jailed over prescription drugs slams UAE
date: 12-May-2005
source : REUTERS
editorial comment editorial comment
One more example of the routine barbarism of the drug warriors.......

A British woman who spent two months in a Dubai jail after traces of prescription drugs were found in her body returned home on Thursday describing her treatment in the United Arab Emirates as "disgusting".

Tracy Wilkinson, 44, was arrested by Dubai police on March 5 after she was taken off a flight back to Britain because she was behaving strangely and a subsequent drugs test found traces of illegal substances.

She faced a possible four-year jail term if convicted of drug abuse but on Sunday she was released after a court heard that she had been taking medicine for back pain which she had been given in Dubai.

"I can't describe how disgusting these last two months have been," she said after landing at London's Heathrow airport.

"That goes for the way I was treated and the way I was held. You couldn't treat anyone like this."

A urine sample taken during her detention showed traces of codeine and tamazepam -- both illegal in the UAE.

But UAE authorities accepted these had been prescribed to her at the American Hospital in Dubai on her arrival.

"There were 10 drugs in my urine apparently -- medication I was given there," she said.

The Gulf state, a tourism hub which diplomats say is a busy route for drug trafficking between Asia and Europe, has a zero tolerance policy towards drug possession. Smugglers face possible death sentences, but in practice executions are rare.

Wilkinson, who said she had visited the country on 30 or 40 previous occasions, said at one stage she was handcuffed in a tiny cell with one arm hung up for six hours "because they thought I was difficult".

"I couldn't breathe and I felt I'm going to die here," she said. "They can do anything they want to you."

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