UK

Critically-ill British citizen 'stuck in Oman'

David Hughes Image copyright David Hughes
Image caption David Hughes has been given less than six months to live

A British citizen has said he is stuck in Oman needing life-saving medical treatment because the British embassy has failed to help repatriate him.

David Hughes had been working in the country when his passport was confiscated by police in 2017 after a car crash.

He now has end-stage liver disease and requires a transplant but cannot return home without UK intervention.

The Foreign Office said it was "offering advice and support".

'I don't read Arabic'

Mr Hughes travelled to Oman in 2016 to work as a project director on the construction of an airport.

But in 2017 he was a passenger in a car involved in a collision and had to be cut out of the vehicle.

After this, his passport was confiscated, despite no charges being brought against him.

"I was interviewed by an officer who barely spoke English," Mr Hughes told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme.

"He then wrote up my statement in Arabic and wanted me to sign it. I can't read Arabic, so I refused.

"He then gave me two options - hand over my passport, or go to prison, so I handed over my passport and I haven't had it back since."

Image copyright David Hughes
Image caption Mr Hughes was a passenger in the car

Mr Hughes was given documentation that confirmed his passport was being held by police but told the programme the Omani authorities had now said they no longer had it.

He is currently in hospital in the country and - having been given only months to live - is desperate to return to the UK to be with his family and receive treatment.

He said he had made numerous attempts to contact the British embassy in Oman but had been repeatedly told it was an issue for the local authorities.

"The embassy knew about my situation, they were sympathetic but said they couldn't get involved," he said.

"I'm very shocked by their lack of care. I don't have much time left and they don't seem to realise the urgency."

He later learned his phone calls to the embassy had not been logged.

Image copyright David Hughes
Image caption David Hughes is currently in hospital in Oman

In August, Mr Hughes contacted the BBC, which in turn spoke to the Foreign Office - which has now begun offering him assistance.

He said Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge, had been made aware of his case by his son - but he was worried he would not receive the treatment he needed unless the UK helped repatriate him.

The Foreign Office said in a statement: "Our staff are offering advice and support to a British man who has been hospitalised in Oman and are in contact with his family and the Omani authorities regarding his case.

"The British ambassador has raised his case with the Omani authorities."

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