Dubai frees Briton imprisoned for carrying legal cancer medication

Dubai frees Briton imprisoned for carrying legal cancer medication

Dubai frees Briton imprisoned for carrying legal cancer medication

Following an intervention by Detained in Dubai and local lawyers, a British man who’d been detained in jail for five weeks for carrying a six-month supply of a legal cancer medication has finally been released.

Perry Coppins, the latest in a number of British citizens arrested and detained in the UAE for seemingly spurious reasons, was planning to stay in the region for six months, and had brought enough of his cancer medication with him to cover his trip. He’d also brought his prescription for the drugs, which are legal in the emirates, as required by Dubai immigration.

On arrival in Dubai, Coppins was arrested and jailed due to the number of pills he was carrying, and was refused his medications during the five weeks he was locked up. A report from Detained in Dubai has confirmed he’s now been released, charges have been dropped and his passport returned. It also states he experienced horrendous withdrawal symptoms whilst being denied his medication, including bouts of blindness, weight loss and hallucinations. It's not yet known whether his cancer has worsened due to his not being allowed his medication.

Tourists and expats arriving in Dubai are now being warned about the risks of bringing in legal medications beyond the amount required for a short visit. Dubai’s list of banned medications is long and very confusing, as it includes sedatives found in cough syrups, codeine, amphetamines and others such as herbal medicines permitted in their countries of origin.

The official list of banned medications covers 12 A4 pages of the UAE’s customs website, with a number of medications including codeine described as ‘narcotic’. Medications for personal use are restricted to a 30 day supply. It’s strongly recommended those under treatment who are intending to visit the UAE should check the list carefully to avoid being arrested, charged and deported.

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