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British teacher in Kuwait prison despite being CLEARED of drug charges

British teacher is languishing in ‘overcrowded’ Kuwaiti desert prison despite being CLEARED of drug charges after authorities refuse to free her

  • Sara Assayed, 35, was arrested in March 2019 in Kuwait on drug charges
  • Police allegedly found drugs in her car but she says they were planted on her
  • The teacher was jailed this year but a judge overturned the ruling last month
  • Ms Assayed remains languishing in ‘inhumane’ conditions in the Kuwait desert 

A British primary school teacher is languishing in a Kuwaiti prison despite being cleared of drug charges as her family urges the British government to secure her release.

Sara Assayed, 35, whose parents live in Barry, Wales, was jailed for ten years in March after drugs were allegedly found in her car in the Middle East country in 2019.

She successfully appealed the charges in June but remains in the ‘overcrowded’ and ‘inhumane’ prison in the middle of the desert.

Sara Assayed is languishing in a Kuwaiti prison despite being cleared of drug charges as her family urges the British government to secure her release

Ms Assayed’s parents Ziad and Helen (pictured) say she is being kept in a solitary cell and said the situation is ‘heartbreaking’

Ms Assayed’s parents Ziad Assayed and Helen Conibear say she is being kept in a solitary cell and the situation is ‘heartbreaking’.

Mr Assayed told BBC Wales: ‘We’re just worried and she’s crying. She calls at night and she’s crying.’

The teacher, who was born in Jordan and moved to Kuwait when she was 17, was arrested in March 2019 after police stopped her and another teacher in her car and claimed to have found drugs.

Mr Assayed says the drugs were planted.

After winning her appeal last month, Ms Assayed expected to be returned to the UK but she remains in prison

He said: ‘From the beginning, we believe that the police investigation was all fabricated. They took her car, they put something in the car and then it came back.’

Possessing or using drugs can result in a jail sentence of up to ten years in Kuwait and suspects can stay in detention for months even if they are found not guilty.

Drug traffickers can face the death penalty in the Gulf country.

She was unable to leave the country while on bail before she was jailed in March this year.

Her parents say her trial lasted just five minutes during which she was not allowed to speak even though she has always claimed her innocence. 

After winning her appeal last month, Ms Assayed expected to be returned to the UK but she remains in prison.

The judge allegedly said the evidence was insufficient and the police accusations did not match up.

The teacher, whose parents live in Barry, Wales, was jailed for ten years in March after drugs were allegedly found in her car in the Middle East country in 2019

The Foreign Office has confirmed it was assisting a British national.

But Mr Assayed has criticised their response and said they have spent £20,000 on legal fees.

He said: ‘We just want them to accelerate her deportation…the worst feeling is the feeling of being helpless. She needs our help and we can’t help her. She’s there for the wrong reasons. It’s unjust for her to be in prison when she’s innocent.’

Ms Assayed was born in Jordan and her family moved to Kuwait in 2002 when she was 17.

She stayed in the Gulf country to continue her career while her parents returned to Barry.

Ms Assayed’s sister Sheree Conibear told the South Wales Argus: ‘She has no fans, no window, no blanket in her cell and it barely fits one person. Her mental health is struggling. 

‘Last time we talked to her she said there are women and children in here all in overcrowded rooms and the heat. She said it is not fit for animals.’

The family has launched an online petition calling for Ms Assayed’s release, which currently has more than 600 signatures. 

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