Inside Dubai jails where inmates are ‘tortured with sleep deprivation in overcrowded cells’ as Brit jailed over CBD oil

DUBAI prisons have become notorious for their brutal treatment of prisoners with some claiming to have been tortured and forced to live in filthy conditions.

It comes as Brit Billy Hood shared his horrifying experience in a Dubai prison after he was jailed over CBD vape oil.

Billy, 24, was locked up in the Al-Barsha police detention centre after authorities discovered four bottles of CBD oil in his car.

Vaping CBD is legal in the UK but because it contains traces of THC – the main psychoactive compound found in cannabis – Billy was arrested and thrown in prison under the UAE’s medieval drug laws.

After his arrest on January 31, campaigners say Billy was forced to sign a false confession written in Arabic admitting to the more serious offences of selling and trafficking the oil.

On Monday, Billy was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

So far, Billy has spent nine months locked up in the hell-hole facility.

And speaking to his friend Alfie after his arrest in January, he described facing horrendous conditions at the notorious Al-Barsha jail.

Football agent Alfie Cain, said Billy was beaten daily for five days as officers from Dubai’s CID tried to force the young coach to confess to drug crimes.

“It's been bad in Al-Barsha, I'm not going to sugar coat it,” said Alfie, a former non-league footballer from London.

“When they took him to the CID drugs unit they beat him for an entire five days, he told me police officers tasered him, slapped him in the face and all they fed him was bread and little bit of water.

“He was basically tortured and put in a cell with 30 other people for five days.”

Billy's horrific experience of torture in a UAE prison has echoed previous prisoners' tales of horror.


Last month it was revealed that a British grandad allegedly suffered beatings after he was locked up over a "bounced cheque".

Albert Douglas, 60, was jailed earlier this year and has since been forced to drink toilet water and watch cellmates being tortured, supporters claim.

In September, the grandad had to be taken to hospital for surgery on his shoulder that had been dislocated for five months, advocacy group Detained in Dubai said.

And despite being in agony, he is too afraid to accept painkillers because it could mean being transferred to an even more brutal psychiatric facility.

Since being arrested eight months ago, Albert has reportedly been beaten by prison guards, denied his heart medication and forced to suffer inhumane conditions, including drinking from a toilet.

He has been repeatedly interrogated and threatened in an effort to make him confess to a crime he did not commit, campaigners say. 

According to Human Rights Watch, an international non-governmental organisation, Al-Barsha was named as one of three detention facilities across the country where prisoners live in poor conditions.

Their findings claimed family members said prisoners at Al-Barsha have been denied adequate medical care and that overcrowding and unsanitary conditions make hygiene practices very difficult especially during the pandemic.


In 2013, Brits Grant Cameron, Karl Williams and Suneet Jeerh claimed that they were given electric shocks and had guns held to their heads during a seven-month stint in prison.

In a statement released by Williams, he said that his testicles had been electrocuted while he was interrogated by police.

The mens' lawyers also said that the men were forced to sign documents in Arabic at gunpoint.

The Emirati police denied the allegations.


When Zara-Jayne Moisey went to report a rape in 2016, she was locked up in the filthy Al-Barsha prison.

Zara, then 25, was thrown in jail after reporting she was raped by two British men — cousins Louis Harris and David Butlin.

Authorities said a video by one of the men proved the sex was consensual, and Zara faced a year in prison for extra-marital and booze offences.

Speaking exclusively to The Sun in 2016, Zara-Jayne recalled the horrific conditions she was forced to live in.

"It was the most frightening experience of my life, absolute torture, and all because I went to the police about what happened in the hotel room," she said.

"I will never forget the jail, it’s the worst place I have ever been.

“They kept the lights off in the day so we’d be eating in pitch blackness. Then they turned them on at night so no one could sleep.”


Brit Jamie Harron was accused of "public indecency" after he touched a man's hip in 2017.

Jamie claimed he was trying to avoid spilling his drink when he touched a Jordanian businessman on the hip in the crowded bar.

After being arrested, Jamie was held in Al Barsha prison, where he claims he was not allowed to wash himself or brush his teeth.

He said he was left in a “foul-smelling” cell with another eight nationalities sleeping on the floor with “one revolting mattress between them all”.

After three months of horrific conditions, Jamie's sentence was overturned on order from the Sheikh.

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