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UAE-detained British plane spotter's health 'suffering'

Conrad Clitheroe and Gary Cooper Image copyright Valerie Clitheroe
Image caption Conrad Clitheroe and Gary Cooper are being held in Fujairah prison in the United Arab Emirates

The wife of a plane spotter held in a United Arab Emirates (UAE) prison has said her husband has lost two stone in weight since his detention.

Conrad Clitheroe, 54, was one of three British plane spotters arrested over allegations of suspicious behaviour.

He and Gary Cooper, 45, from Greater Manchester and another expat, were detained near Fujairah Airport for "national security" reasons.

They and Manchester-born Neil Munro, were arrested on 22 February.

The airport, about 80 miles (130km) from Dubai, is where older and rarer aircraft can be seen.

'Stressful conditions'

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Clitheroe's wife Valerie said his health has been affected.

"When he had a medical this week they weighed him and he has actually lost two stone in six weeks," she said.

"The medication he takes, he has high blood pressure and it has affected his heart, so he has to take quite a lot of medication every single day.

"This is a worry when you're under stressful conditions."

Image caption Valerie Clitheroe said her husband Conrad's health has suffered since being detained

Ms Clitheroe said the family was hopeful for an update on the case next week.

She said: "It is a very slow process. We haven't had any feedback from anybody in the last couple of weeks as to how the case is going.

"Next Sunday, the extension date is up - the extra 30 days they got. We're hoping next Sunday to hear something, whether it is a release - but they could go for another extension on that.

"It has been a very, very difficult time."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The men were at an airport about 80 miles away from Dubai (pictured)

Ms Clitheroe added: "Plane spotting isn't illegal in that country, obviously it's not culturally understood, but they have been held for six weeks with no charges at all.

"It seems very unjust to hold somebody for that length of time without any charges."

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) spokeswoman said: "We are providing consular assistance to the individuals and their families."

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