Briton on hunger strike in Dubai suffers stroke

Published:  12 Jun at 2 PM
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A British businessman who has gone on a hunger strike inside a Dubai prison has reportedly suffered a stroke.
Forty-eight-year-old Peter Margetts, a real estate developer originally from London, is currently serving a 23-year jail sentence for issuing cheques that bounced – a criminal offence in the United Arab Emirates, where financial cheques are key to the financial system.

Mr Margetts is one of about 20 foreign businessmen serving time in Dubai’s Central Jail, all of whom are on hunger strike, demonstrating against what they consider to be overly harsh punishments for financial crimes.

Radha Stirling, who founded Detained in Dubai, an association that supports those in legal trouble in the country, told the Telegraph that Mr Margetts had a stroke last Friday. The demonstrating businessman has gone on hunger strike since 22 April.

Mr Stirling said he had spoken to many of the prisoners on hunger strike. They confirmed to him that Mr Margetts had had a stroke and was now in a very bad way, he said.

Mr Stirling expressed his sadness over what he called a civil matter turned into a criminal offence, which has led to the businessman’s stroke. The stress of being thrown in jail for such a “trivial” offense as a bounced cheque, combined with the stress from being away from family, has produced a tremendous physical reaction, said Mr Stirling.
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