Expat in ‘desperate state of health’ after being locked up for sending an ‘electronic insult’ on social media

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A British expat who was jailed in the United Arab Emirates for sending an ‘electronic insult’ has been freed.

Christian Wilke was said to have sent the insult on Facebook, but is now in a ‘desperate state of health’ after finally being released from captivity.

Mystery still surrounds why the 39-year-old was arrested and which post caused the alleged offence.

After nine months in prison his mother Christine Wilke-Breitsameter announced the freedom of the ex-head of computing, at Downe House School in Cold Ash, Berkshire, in a Facebook post yesterday.

She claimed he was being kept in filthy conditions in prison in the UAE, was forced to sign a false confession and has still not been told what he did to trigger his arrest.

Mr Wilke had been locked up since October last year, and was released after British officials intervened in his case.

Mrs Wilke-Breitsameter said her son, a dual British-German national, had been kept in ‘cruel’ conditions at Al Ain prison – a 90 minute drive from Dubai – in the United Arab Emirates and had not been told why he was being held.

During his detention he developed pneumonia, was subjected to sleep deprivation and denied a lawyer for 52 days.

Mr Wilke was sentenced to a one-year prison sentence and fined after being forced to sign a confession written in Arabic, she said.

She said the family still do not have any documents that show what offence her son was charged with.

‘Since the institution of the cyber-crime law in 2012, scores of people in the UAE have been detained by authorities for comments made on social media platforms’.


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