Today: Abu Dhabi prison shakes as prisoners on frontline of drone strikes
Reports from Abu Dhabi prison confirm the building was “shaking” with loud explosions heard, frightening families of inmates including Billy Hood desperate to get him to safety.
Abu Dhabi has been under attack from Iran funded Yemen’s Houthi rebels with two loud explosions that shook the prison just today, leaving inmates like Billy Hood at the forefront of the UAE’s security risk.
With UAE rulers focussed on their own national security, the British government has been called on to secure the safety of their citizens on the frontline of these attacks.
“Billy Hood was arrested for involuntarily possessing a few small bottles of CBD oil. He has been detained for over a year and is appealing his 10 year sentence but his family are concerned that he will not even make it to court to do so”, said Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai.
Billy’s mother Breda and uncle David are “shattered” by the extremely worrying reports that Abu Dhabi has become a warzone. An emotional Breda appealed to Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and Ambassador Moody to “please, get my boy out of there! Billy was arrested for CBD oil and is now in a situation where he could be killed. We are worried out of our minds and shaken by what he is going through at the moment. He’s a young football coach and even if he survived these attacks, the courts and infrastructure will be crippled to deal with his appeal. New drug laws have come in that would have seen him deported at worst. Please intervene and beg Abu Dhabi to apply these laws to his case, consider the threat to his life and let him come home to his family. No average person should have to deal with the stress and trauma that he is going through and that we, his family, are experiencing. Please have some compassion!”
Stirling says “the British government has a responsibility to secure the safety of their citizens. Billy Hood is in desperate need of urgent rescue and repatriation. If the British government fails to intervene and anything happens to Billy, this would be a dire tragedy. The Hood family is awaiting news from the Foreign Secretary and from Boris Johnson on what the UK is doing to help him come home”.
MP Felicity Buchan has been advocating for Billy but this new and developing situation has increased urgency.
“The prisoners currently detained in Abu Dhabi include foreigners charged with crimes from bounced cheques and debts to possession of small amounts of hashish or in Billy’s case, CBD oil. These are not criminals and they should not have their lives put at risk”, added Ms Stirling who is extremely concerned for those in custody. “It is an unbelievable situation and the trauma the inmates are experiencing right now is unimaginable. They are totally out of control, they can’t flee for safety. They are at the mercy of authorities. The British government must intervene”.