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ICFUAE | International Campaign For Freedom in the UAE

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Emirati poet and former diplomat barred from travel by UAE authorities

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3 weeks 1 day

Emirati poet and former diplomat barred from travel by UAE authorities

An Emirati poet and former diplomat said on Sunday that she had been barred from travelling outside of her home country UAE over expressing opposing views to the UAE’s decision to normalise relations with Israel.

Dhabiya Khamis, 62, said she was banned from boarding a Cairo-bound flight at Dubai Airport on Saturday.

“I fear for my freedom and life from being threatened and arrested,” she said on her Twitter account. 

News of her travel ban quickly circulated across social media causing several writers, poets and international activists to express their support and solidarity with Khamis.

In a Twitter post shared by her supporters, Khamis said the ban is reminiscent of her detention in the UAE in 1987. “When I was kidnapped from my home and held in solitary confinement for months without charge or due process in 1987 over an article I wrote, I left the UAE and lived abroad for 30 years... It looks like we are returning to 87”. 

Dhabiya Khamis is now urging human rights organisations to intervene and hold Emirati authorities accountable for “any oppression, arrest, assassination or liquidation I am subjected to". 

On Sept. 15, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed US-brokered normalisation agreements with Israel at the White House, ignoring the Palestinian rejection. The newly agreed peace deals have angered Palestinians, who consider the move a betrayal by the Arab nations.

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