Author: Colin Sowerby @cas707
On Thursday 26th of June, I submitted an e-petition application to the HM Government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It was accepted and published on Monday 30th of June.
My e-petition asked for the British Government to help David Haigh. You can view and sign if you wish, the e-petition here http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/66828
Who is David Haigh?
David Haigh is a 36 year old British citizen. He was arrested under subterfuge in Dubai in May.
He has now been imprisoned for 7 weeks in a shared jail cell.
He has not been charged with any crime.
He has not been interviewed by police or public prosecutors.
He has not been allowed to fairly represent himself.
David is unwell and suffering with health issues.
Man On The Post is a football website so why should I care?
David Haigh was the Managing Director of Leeds United during a transition of ownership of the club from Ken Bates to Gulf Finance House Capital (GFH) to Massimo Cellino. However, this isn’t a Leeds United issue, it’s a humanitarian issue, an issue of decency, and one I would like the football family to embrace, whoever they support.
David is in trouble. He was tricked by his former employees, GFH, to return to Dubai under the promise of a new job. He turned up. He was immediately arrested. There was no job. He is coughing up blood. He is recuperating from a recent operation on his stomach. He has not been allowed his medication. He has lost weight. He cannot make contact to the outside world. His assets have been frozen.
My belief is that he is scared, his health is deteriorating and he is unable to defend himself. In the UK and the western world you are innocent until proven guilty. Right now, he is guilty until proven innocent. And he’s trapped. David Haigh needs help - Your help.
You can help by signing my e-petition. It’s here http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/66828
Why should you help David Haigh?
When the e-petition was launched, it was the highest trending and signed e-petition in the UK. Thank you to everyone who has signed so far. At one point, there was a signature every 45 seconds! That’s amazing! And here’s the proof.
Who am I? Why am I asking for your help?
I’m a football fan. I was born in Dewsbury, brought up in Ossett and educated in Wakefield. I support Leeds United.
I’m honestly worried about David. Has he made mistakes? Perhaps. I’m not making David a hero.
However, I don’t understand how a man who has helped to make my club, and football better, should be dealt with in this way. His work with the local Yorkshire community – Children’s train safety, working at a homeless shelter, supporting and promoting the Leeds United Ladies team, promoting gay rights with his support of Stonewall UK and ensuring a spot on Newsnight for Robbie Rogers (watch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nye-vvarfh4 ) is both refreshing and commendable.
I don’t know David Haigh. And I’ve had some grief on Twitter, so let’s get that sorted out.
Ken mentioned that an e-petition should be set up via his speech on Radio Yorkshire.
I’ve been asked, ‘How do you know Ken Bates?’
I DO NOT.
I raised an e-petition on David Haigh’s behalf a long time before Ken mentioned it.
And just out of interest, Ken, or no-one else for that matter, has raised an e-petition that has been accepted as valid for publishing on HM Government’s e-petition site.
THIS IS THE ONLY DAVID HAIGH e-petition. Please sign here: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/66828
My final thoughts - a message to doubting Leeds United fans
To those that say "David deserves it, let him rot," you are absolutely entitled to your opinion. I haven't got a problem with that at all. But, let me say this from the heart - David Haigh is just a person. He has a Mum. He has a Dad. He has a sister. How would you feel if your son or your brother was in the same situation? Would you not expect someone to help?
He is scared. His family are scared.
Right now, no-one is helping. No-one is listening. Whatever you think of David Haigh, no-one should be treated like this. He needs a voice and he needs help and you can provide that by signing the e-petition.
A message to Leeds fans - do you really believe that he didn't have genuine thoughts about all the activities that he did for Leeds United? They certainly didn't happen under previous regimes. Do you really believe that he doesn't care about Leeds United?
10,000 signatures will get us a response from HM Government.
100,000 signatures will get us discussed in the House of Commons.
WE CAN DO THIS. WE CAN HELP DAVID.
I would like to commend The Square Ball. Their website is http://thesquareball.net/ and they have a great podcast also. They were brave enough to retweet my e-petition. Other Leeds United websites did not. They know who they are.
Adam Pope of BBC Radio Leeds allowed a propaganda message from GFH to be aired on their station. Maybe you can help to readdress the balance. The media don’t want to talk about David Haigh. Why not?
I'm just a solitary Leeds fan, trying to do my bit for justice. I think what is happening is wrong.
I'm just trying to help.
Can you help too?
Please sign my e-petition. http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/66828