Saudi flogging case Briton Karl Andree reunited with family in UK

Published: Wednesday 11th November 2015 by The News Editor

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A British grandfather who was sentenced to a flogging for breaking Saudi Arabia’s strict anti-alcohol laws has been reunited with his family in the UK.

Karl Andree, 74, was threatened with 350 lashes after he was caught with home-made wine in Jeddah.

He was put on a plane to Britain on Tuesday night after being freed from a Saudi prison, where he had been locked up since August last year.

The grandfather-of-seven is now back home after an emotional reunion with his family.

Mr Andree’s children launched a campaign for his release on compassionate grounds because his wife Verity is dying of Alzheimer’s and is in Britain receiving care.

He had lived in the Middle East for the last 25 years, having worked in the oil industry.

More than 230,000 people signed an online petition calling for the Prime Minister to intervene to stop Mr Andree – who has battled cancer and suffers from asthma – from facing the lashings.

Three of his grandchildren, Lucy, 12, Celia, 10, and Edward, nine, also appealed to David Cameron in a video message, in which they said their grandfather was a “really old man” and “no human deserves to be treated like this”.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said: “Karl Andree was released from prison hours after my visit to Riyadh on 28 October.

“I’m pleased that he has returned home to be reunited with his family, bringing to an end an extremely tough time for him and his family.

“I’m grateful to the Saudi Arabian government for their efforts in ensuring this positive outcome, following our discussions during my visit.

“It’s through the strength and breadth of the relationship between our nations that we have been able to overcome a difficult issue like this.”

Mr Andree said it was “emotional” to be back and that he was looking forward to “rebuilding my life”.

“I am truly humbled and will never forget the love and support of so many people in getting me home,” he told ITV News.

In an interview with The Sun he said his supporters have “saved my life” and added: “I am overwhelmed by the support and am grateful to Prime Minister David Cameron and the Government for stepping in.”

Published: Wednesday 11th November 2015 by The News Editor

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