Petition The Government to make representations on behalf of Andrew Neal in UAE
Andy Neal has been held in the UAE for more than four months, accused of selling drugs, a charge he denies. The person who accused Andy of selling drugs has since retracted his statement. The police had Andy sign a confession written in arabic using his thumb print, which he did not understand.
Andy served in the British Army for 24 years, in conflict zones including Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia and has 14 medals and a commendation. He moved to UAE in 2015 and started a dog training business. His wife and children need Andy home. Despite Andy’s accuser retracting his statement he still remains behind bars, with neither the UAE or UK governments taking any action, neither has Andy had any hearing. It’s time for the UK government to take some action.
This response was given on 9 May 2019
The UK is providing consular assistance to Andrew Neal who awaits trial in Abu Dhabi. We continue to support his family in the UAE and the UK. We remain in regular contact with the UAE authorities.
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We appreciate that this is a very distressing time for Mr Neal and his family.
This is an ongoing legal case in which we cannot interfere. Whilst we cannot go into too much detail of the case, please be assured that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is providing all relevant support to Andrew and his family. The former Minister for the Middle East and North Africa met with Mr Neal’s parents on 21 March 2019, and the FCO continues to keep them and the wider family updated on developments. We have made numerous representations to the UAE authorities about Mr Neal’s case including, facilitating prison visits for his wife; raising the families’ concerns over his health; and ensuring he sees a doctor when required. Consular staff have also visited Mr Neal on a number of occasions since he was arrested in October 2018. We remain in regular contact with the UAE authorities and we have and will continue to raise any welfare concerns while Mr Neal is being detained.
When British Nationals are detained overseas, FCO officials are limited on what they can and cannot do: we can visit them; raise concerns around their health and wellbeing with the relevant authorities, where appropriate and asked to do so; provide information on how to seek legal assistance and interpreters in that country; provide information about transferring funds; contact family and friends, where asked to do so; and provide details of organisations that can provide specialist support, where we are unable to. We cannot interfere in the legal process of another country, just as we expect other countries to respect the UK’s laws and legal processes.
Further information about the assistance we can, and cannot, provide is clearly laid out in our public guide ‘Support for British nationals abroad: A guide’, found on gov.uk website.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
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