Dubai court jailed British woman, 22, for allegedly WITNESSING a hotel brawl
Asa Hutchinson, 22, was given a Dubai prison sentence though she claims she only witnessed a hotel brawl but did not take part in it.
Asa Hutchinson, a 22-year-old British woman, is back home in the UK after she was given a three-month sentence over an attack which she claims she only witnessed and never participated. Asa allegedly got caught in the brawl after her friends, who wanted to take selfies with dozing 54-year-old dozing computer executive. The victim alleged that the group woke him up by slapping him in the face.
Post the April 2016 brawl which took place at the Al Fattan Currency House building, the man was reportedly left with a broken nose; and put the charges on Hutchinson after her friends returned back to the UK. Asa was quite shocked with her arrested over the alleged brawl that is believed to be sparked by champagne. However, the victim claims that both the women in the group which includes Hutchinson, scratched him before throwing his glasses in the bin, a local paper 'The National' reported.
The victim told a Dubai court that one person in the group hit him on the nose and the rest started to kick him once he had fallen down. The Dubai police also interrogated Hutchinson's boyfriend Ben Hall once he had got their names from their hotel reservations. The men in the group were able to retrieve their passports after they paid cash deposits and were able to fly back to the UK.
Once they had left, the victim made the choice to transfer the charges to Asa after he discovered that she lives in the UAE. Under Dubai law, the person who makes the complaint first is most likely to be believed. It is also illegal to click pictures of people without their consent in Dubai and also being rude to another person is considered an illegal offense.
A charity called Detained in Dubai which helps and assists those who are facing jail time in the UAE are defending Hutchinson and believe that she is innocent. They also believe that she should not have been forced to leave the country. 'Detained in Dubai's chief executive Radha Stirling says that Hutchinson was "wrongly charged" with assault and there was no evidence to back up the alleged charges.
As reported by DailyMail, a spokesman for 'Detained in Dubai' said, "The boys managed to flee Dubai before being arrested, and so the victim laid all the charges on Asa. All of the alleged assailants in this incident were released, but because Asa was living in Dubai, and the Swedish man misidentified her as a participant in the row, she was wrongly charged with the assault."
"Asa has been sentenced in absentia, despite there being no evidence to corroborate the questionable testimony of the alleged victim. We are glad that Asa is safe in the UK, but this judgment demonstrates how easily convictions occur in the UAE in the absence of any acceptable standards of due process," the spokesman continued.
Hutchinson, who now faces prison time if she ever returns to the UAE, had shared, "Going to prison would be awful. I just couldn't bear it, I really hope it doesn't get that far. I want to thank everyone around the world for the messages of support I have been getting. I also want to tell my mum and dad, Lucie and Iain that I love them and miss them very much." Asa's mother has also defended her, saying: "she is absolutely and completely innocent. What I find really upsetting is that Asa has not turned her back, and run away - she was saying, 'I have done nothing.'"
"She's really taking the rap, those guys in Dubai really seem to do things by association, I just find the whole thing so shocking," she continued. A Dubai police lieutenant shared that the CCTV footage from the venue showed the man sleeping as the group approached him and a medical report revealed that the victim had suffered a broken nose, a broken finger, and a broken toe.
Asa earlier said, "It is so unfair, I was not involved, I just happened to be there, but the police are not interested in anything I have to say. Once the man made his complaint it was taken as fact. I can't go to jail, I couldn't cope." Her father Lain had appealed to the public to help bring Asa back to England earlier and shared, "This older guy was the one hitting everyone, he ought to know better at his age than getting into drunken fights with kids. And now he can't throw his weight around and get them into trouble, he is picking on my young daughter."
Detained in Dubai released a statement which read, "All of the alleged assailants in this incident were released. But because Asa was living in Dubai, and the Swedish man misidentified her as a participant in the row, she was wrongly charged with the assault. Asa has been sentenced in absentia, despite there being no evidence to corroborate the questionable testimony of the alleged victim. We are glad that Asa is safe in the UK, but this judgment demonstrates how easily convictions occur in the UAE in the absence of any acceptable standards of due process."