Scot freed in Iraq following conviction in Qatar

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By Creative Media News

A construction engineer who was detained in Iraq for two months due to a debt conviction in Qatar has been released.

Brian Glendinning, 43, from Fife, Scotland, was unaware he was on an Interpol list of wanted fugitives until he was held in Basra on his route to a new job.

His family requested intervention from the British government last month.

Mr. Glendinning was released on Sunday, according to the campaign group Detained in Dubai, and is likely to return to Kincardine within days.

Mr. Glendinning, a married man with three children and one granddaughter, was sentenced to two years in prison for nonpayment of a debt in 2017.

Scot freed in iraq following conviction in qatar
Scot freed in iraq following conviction in qatar

He had committed to a £20,000 loan with his Qatari bank while he was working in Doha in 2016, but he was unable to make full payments after losing his job.

His family said that he was laid off in 2017 while on sick leave in Scotland, but he remained in contact with the bank, unaware that he had been convicted of a crime.

His brother John Glendinning stated, “I believe Brian did what most parents would have done at the time: when you’re unemployed, you attempt to keep the house warm and feed the children with whatever money you have.”

“However, I think that to be a criminal in Qatar. It’s not just defaulting on a loan, as we do in the United Kingdom.”

John described the news that his “big brother and best buddy” had been detained in Iraq as upsetting.

Mr. Glendinning was “terrified” after his arrest at the Basra airport on September 12.

The engineer discovered he was on Interpol’s red list only after Qatar issued an arrest request for him.

Scot freed in iraq
Scot freed in iraq following conviction in qatar

John disclosed that he had sold his car to help cover his brother’s legal fees, which had risen to £30,000 within four weeks of his incarceration.

Since then, the family’s crowdfunding campaign to cover legal fees has raised almost £30,600 of its £40,000 goal.

The family also cautioned football fans traveling to Qatar for the World Cup, which begins next Sunday, to be cautious of the risks involved.

Since Mr. Glendinning’s detention, Radha Stirling, the creator of Detained in Dubai and IPEX, has supported them.

She has assisted hundreds of those wrongfully detained in or at risk of extradition to the United Arab Emirates and the Middle East.

Among them is an engineer from Tranent, East Lothian, named Conor Howard. Under an Interpol warrant, he was arrested in Greece in 2020 for carrying a herb grinder on a flight that stopped in Doha.

Last month, Ms. Stirling stated that Mr. Glendinning’s case was a “horror” for his family, but she was optimistic that they would be able to bring him home.

She also told that he was “aggressively pushed” by his bank in Qatar to obtain a loan, as is “normal practice” there.

Ms. Stirling added, “The problem with Qatar banks is that when they want to pursue someone on Interpol to put pressure on the family to pay the debt, they add legal fees to bring the amount above the €15,000 Interpol threshold, then wait for that person to be detained and put pressure on their parents or their families to sell assets or use their life’s savings to bail out their child.”

The Foreign and Commonwealth Development office stated that Mr. Glendinning will get consular assistance.

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