The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights calls for the health release of Alia Abdulnour
The authorities of the United Arab Emirates are refusing to release Alia Abdulnour despite her confirmed cancer. In fact, she received treatment for this disease before her arrest in 2008 and recovered from it but it reappeared after her arrest on the 28th of July 2015 and her transfer to a secret detention center in addition to her exposure to enforced disappearance for four months and trial.
Indeed, poor condition of detention have exacerbated her illness; She was put in a solitary cell that was more like a coffin, because of its narrowness and heat, in addition to the fact that it didn’t have any bed, windows, and even toilet or food. She was also stripped out of her outer clothes, chained with iron chains and continuously blindfolded; besides, cameras were put in her cell and she was interrogated daily. Moreover, torture, ill-treatment, abuse and treatment deprivation have caused her the appearance of several tumors, swelling of the lymph nodes and cirrhosis of the liver as well as osteoarthritis.
The UAE State Security Apparatus claimed that Alia Abdulnour has financed terrorism and has dealt with terrorists abroad because of her participation in collecting donations and financial assistance to help the poor and the war-affected women and children in Syria and some needy families living in the UAE.
She was brought to the Public Prosecution in December 2015 and later transferred to Al Wathba Prison where she was subjected to humiliating and degrading treatment; besides, her family was allowed to visit her only two months after being held at Al Wathba prison and she has lost 10 kg in a very short period.
The State Security Department has sentenced her to the case n°150 of 2015 to 10 years imprisonment and the verdict was finalized on May 15, 2017. The court relied in its judgment on confessions that were appealed by Alia Abdulnour who asked to exclude them because they were extracted under torture. However, the court paid no heed to her request to open an investigation into her exposure to torture, ill-treatment and health neglect and the court relied on the weblog of the websites she was browsing, especially those of political opponents and human rights activists, to further condemn her.
Moreover, Alia Abdulnour was also denied the right to have a lawyer, in fact, the lawyer who was intended to defend her was threatened and intimidated in flagrant violation of fair trial guarantees.
Ms. Abdulnour has been languishing in Abu Dhabi's Mafraq Hospital for almost a year, in the Department of Surgery, floor 11C, that is not enough equipped for her condition and the medical staff there has not prescribed any specific drugs for her other than analgesics and narcotic ones and she has not received proper medical care.
The UAE authorities are refusing to release Alia Abdulnour after the intensification of her illness and the spread of cancer in some parts of her body despite the authorization of UAE Federal Law No. 43 of 1992 on Regulating Penal Institutions for the Attorney General to release the detainee whom health and life are threatened by a disease according to Articles 32 and 33.
The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights, therefore, calls upon all international human rights organizations to intervene with the UAE authorities in order to release the humanitarian and social activist Alia Abdulnour and to investigate all the violations that have been committed against her and that have affected her health, dignity, and rights.