Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Kausar Uddin 'wrongly' imprisoned stuck in Saudi

Kausar Uddin
Image caption Kausar Uddin's family say he was wrongly imprisoned during a pilgrimage to Mecca in February

An Edinburgh man whose family said he was "wrongly" imprisoned during a Mecca pilgrimage remains stuck in Saudi Arabia despite being released.

Kausar Uddin, 47, left prison on 27 May but has been waiting under house arrest for authorities to return his passport so he can fly back to Scotland.

He spent about four months in jail despite being sentenced to just 35 days for assaulting a policeman in February.

His family claim he had lost balance in a crowd and grabbed the nearest person.

The person he grabbed was a police officer who called for colleagues to arrest him.

Mr Uddin had travelled to Mecca with his family in February, along with other pilgrims from Edinburgh's Blackhall Mosque.

Since then, his family said they have spent months asking the Foreign Office for help to no avail.

Financial toll

They said the situation had also had a great toll on them financially as Mr Uddin was the main breadwinner of the family, running a small takeaway as well as being a taxi driver.

Family friend, Rizwan Raza, told the BBC Scotland news website: "The biggest issue we have is that the Foreign Office has not helped.

"Financially this has hit the family very hard and now they are having to close their takeaway as the debts are piling up as Kausar was the main breadwinner.

"His children are doing their exam years, which is stressful enough without not having their father there and wondering what is happening to him.

"Once you have served your sentence in Saudi Arabia you have to get a letter from the interior minister so he was in jail for three months over his sentence.

"Nobody takes responsibility at the Foreign Office so now he is waiting for his passport and has been sleeping on someone's floor over there for two months."

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "Our staff are providing assistance to a British national in Saudi Arabia following their arrest in February 2016.

"We will remain in contact with their family and local authorities."

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