Briton, 61, held in Dubai ‘not getting cancer care’


A British man being held in Dubai is being denied access to prostate cancer treatment and his anti-anxiety medication, his children say.

Perry Coppins was arrested on 1 November in Dubai, despite his anti-anxiety medication being legal in the United Arab Emirates.

The 61-year-old man was jailed for five weeks, and has since been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

According to campaign group Detained in Dubai, customs officers thought he had “too many pills” and did not accept his reason of needing enough for a six-month journey.

The British-based human rights organisation explained Mr Coppins suffers from anxiety and for 21 years has been taking prescribed Temazepam, Clonazepam and Citalopram, which he cannot “function without”.

The group says the maritime security officer had been denied his medication in jail, and is suffering with hallucinations, weight loss, and bouts of blindness.

It is claimed the UAE is denying him cancer treatment and he will need life-saving surgery.

He has two daughters, Pia, 24, Mia, 10 and a 21-year-old son, Cameron.

Pia said: “Nobody should be treated like this. He is not a young man and he needs medical help to cope with his anxiety.

“Not being allowed his cancer treatment is like giving him a death sentence. Does human life mean nothing to those people?”

Connor Clemets is also being held in Dubai, the group says
Connor Clemets is also being held in Dubai, the human rights group says

Mr Coppins, from Nottingham, has lost his job and his passport has been taken from him. His next court hearing is 15 January.

His children fear his savings will soon run out, and he has nowhere to stay while he awaits trial.

Radha Stirling, chief executive of Detained in Dubai, which is representing Mr Coppins, said: “UAE laws on medicines are often vague and frontline law enforcement officials are frequently unaware of exactly what the rules permit or prohibit, so they make uneducated, arbitrary judgement calls.

“Perry needs urgent treatment for his prostate cancer. To deny him this in a timely fashion is an absolute violation of his human rights.

“We hope that the UAE will show compassion to Perry and his children and release him immediately, so that he can return home for the medical treatment he needs.”

It comes after a second man, Connor Clements, was jailed for two years when he was found to have traces of marijuana in his system, despite it being taken legally in the UK.

The British man spent Christmas in jail and has to wait until February for an appeal. He has a medical form explaining he was using CBD oil for anxiety.

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