Scot tells family of life in Iraqi cell with rats and cockroaches

Brian Glendinning has been detained in Iraq for more than a month.

Scot tells family of life in Iraqi cell with rats and cockroaches John Glendinning

A Scottish engineer being held prisoner in an Iraqi jail cell is “mentally done”, his family has said.

Brian Glendinning, from Kincardine in Fife, has been detained since being added to an Interpol list over a debt conviction.

The 43-year-old had agreed to take out a loan of £20,000 from Qatar National Bank in 2016 while he was working in Doha.

However, he was unable to keep up with the repayments on the loan after falling ill over Christmas.

Brian was detained at Basra Airport on September 12, days before he was due to start a new job as a contractor at a BP oil refinery.

His brother, John, has indicated that the job would have allowed Brian to clear the outstanding balance on the loan.

But, he said that he would not be able to work if he is extradited to Qatar where he was jailed in absentia for two years in 2017.

John, along with Brian’s wife Kimberley Glendinning, have been in telephone contact with him.

They said that Brian told them there are rats and cockroaches in the cells, with toilets not being cleaned and showers containing dirty water.

Brian also told his family that his skin had broken out in sores and is in pain due to the dirty conditions.

He said that the mats they sleep on are covered in insects, while he has struggled to get any rest because of loud noises from the outside world.

His family said that Brian also spoke of his hunger, only drinking bread and water, while also having to pay for electricity and phone calls in the prison.

The prison is also overcrowded, with over 40 men in one cell, his family said.

“What was really hard was when he was on the phone call he was starting to talk about giving up – ‘that’s me’, he said, ‘I’m mentally done’,” explained John.

“He doesn’t know how much longer he can go on.”

John added: “His head’s down, he’s not talking at all to anybody, even the phone call, it was the hardest phone call I’ve had from Brian since this has happened.”

Kimberley said: “(He’s) totally isolated. Nobody speaks English so he can’t even really talk to anybody at all.”

John said called for more to be done to help support his brother.

He said: “The Embassy have managed to visit him twice, I believe it’s not as easy to visit there.

“But, I’m needing them to do more, visit more. His welfare’s part of the thing you are meant to help with.”

John said that some of the people in Brian’s holding cell are there on murder and terrorism charges.

“He just feels there’s not really much help,” said Kimberley.

“Obviously, he’s not got any contact with the outside world so he wants to know what the Government’s doing.

“He just really needs as much help as he can.”