x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Help me don’t jail me, drug addict asks Dubai court

Man sentenced to four years in prison for consuming drugs tells court addicts need treatment, not punishment.

DUBAI // A drug user sentenced to four years in prison told a Dubai court yesterday that addicts needed treatment, not imprisonment.

“Your honour, those detained on drug charges must be medicated rather than imprisoned for four years,” S M, 44, an Emirati, told the Criminal Court.

“If I made a mistake then I seek the earthly punishment, rather than the doomsday punishment because those who God loves, he punishes on earth to clean them from sins when they meet him.”

The man was arrested on February 9 this year when police found morphine, heroin and other drugs in his kandura and wallet.

He was found guilty of possessing and taking drugs, charges he denied, answering all allegations in court by pointing to prosecutors and saying only: “They say so.”

Asked by the judge to elaborate, he said: “I have medical reports from a government hospital confirming that I suffer from schizophrenia and constant depression.”

He said prosecutors should have taken these reports into consideration.

“I was once charged with drug peddling but I was acquitted because of these reports and the fact that I am not aware of what I do,” he said.

He then asked the judge to suggest to authorities that addicts should be treated rather than jailed, “for the sake of saving lives of drug addicts, procedures must be corrected”, he said.

salamir@thenational.ae