UN experts demand release of Alia Abdel Nour
UN human rights experts have urged the UAE to release Alia Abdel Nour, who has terminal breast cancer, and is currently detained in Tawan hospital.
She is reportedly being held in a windowless room without ventilation and chained to a hospital bed under armed guard.
“We are extremely concerned about the physical and mental integrity of Ms. Abdulnoor, and about reports that the conditions of detention are causing her unnecessary pain,” the experts said
In a case Human Rights Watch have described as ‘marred by due process violations’, Alia was arrested in 2015 and disappeared for six months and forced to sign a confession under duress.
In 2017 she was convicted of terrorism and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Family members have said that Alia’s sentence relates to small donations she made to Syrian families at the advent of the Syrian revolution in 2011.
Since her arrest, it is reported that Alia has been severely mistreated and has frequently been denied access to adequate medical care to treat her cancer.
“We would like to remind the United Arab Emirates that torture, and ill-treatment is universally and absolutely prohibited and that any statement made as a result of torture shall not be invoked as evidence,” the UN experts said today.
Earlier this month the UAE authorities rejected Alia’s requests for early medical release.
“We call on the authorities to release Ms. Abdulnour and to allow her to live her last days of life in dignity and with her family at home,” said the experts.
Human Rights Watch have also called for Alia to be released on medical grounds.
“The cruel and senseless suffering Abdel Nour and her family have been subjected to blows the UAE’s rhetoric around tolerance right out of the water”
“Abdel Nour should be allowed to spend her last days watched over by her family, not by prison guards who keep her shackled to a hospital bed,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa Director at Human Rights Watch.