Ali Issa Ahmed says he was targeted for wearing a Qatar football shirt at a match in the UAE in 2019.
A UK football fan has filed a lawsuit against six United Arab Emirates (UAE) officials, claiming it was tortured and falsely imprisoned during a trip to the country in 2019.
Ali Issa Ahmed said he was jailed after attending an Asian Cup football match while on holiday in the UAE. He was loaded with a false statement and wasting police time after saying he was beaten to support Qatar’s national team.
While in custody between Jan. 23 and Feb. 12, Ahmed said he was subjected to intentional physical and psychological harm as well as negligence, according to the lawsuit.
“I was heavily tortured and nearly killed in the UAE prison,” Ahmed said in a statement released by his lawyers on Thursday. “They tried to make me look like I was doing these things, that I cut myself and burned myself.
“The UAE authorities have ignored all my complaints and there has been no investigation, and no one has been held responsible,” he said. “I have decided to initiate a civil case against those responsible for torturing me so that the truth can come out and finally there is justice for the terrible things that were done to me.”
The lawsuit appoints the chief and second in command of the Abu Dhabi police, the chief of the Sharjah police and the chief of the Abu Dhabi state public prosecutor’s office.
In a previous interview with the Guardian newspaper, Ahmad, a British-Sudanese citizen duel, said officers approached him and asked him to hand over the Qatar shirt he was wearing. Showing sympathy for Qatar is punishable in the UAE state as criminals face a prison sentence of up to 15 years.
He said he was later beaten in the face, handcuffed and left bleeding by security officials after wearing a different Qatar T-shirt to a beach the next day.
The UAE embassy in London previously said Ahmed’s injuries were “incompatible with his account of the event and appeared self-inflicted” and rejected claims that Ahmed was intended to wear the Qatar shirt.
The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Qatar in June 2017, imposing a land, air and sea blockade.
In January 2021, the countries signed an agreement that officially ended the crisis.