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Tourist Lee Brown Dies in Police Custody in Dubai

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

A British tourist in Dubai has died while in police custody amid accusations that officers beat the man.

According to multiple reports, 39-year-old Lee Brown was arrested at the famous sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel on April 6. A statement from the Dubai Public Prosecutor said Brown allegedly assaulted a female staff member, and tried to throw her off of a sixth floor balcony. Others say Brown merely cursed at a maid inside the hotel before his arrest. He died in his jail cell on April 12.

Dubai attorney general Issam Al Humaidan said an autopsy showed that the cause of death was suffocation when Brown choked on his own vomit. A police official told the National newspaper in neighboring Abu Dhabi that Brown began vomiting the day before his death but did not complain or ask for medical help.

However, reports in the United Kingdom blame brutal police officers for Brown's death. Brown's family told Dubai's 7 Days newspaper that his fellow inmates called to tell them he had been attacked.

Police officials deny that, noting that Brown had no bruises or marks indicating an assault.

In a statement to Brown's family expressing his condolences, the DA said the police force is "governed by the highest standards to preserve human rights."

The British Foreign Office is monitoring the case, saying in a statement:

"The Consul General has spoken directly to the Dubai police at the highest level on a number of times to stress the importance of a full investigation. The police have assured us that they are investigating and we are remaining in close touch with them."

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