Geneva, on May 6, 2019

The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR) has learned with deep sorrow of the death of the prisoner of conscience Alya Abdulnoor.

The UAE authorities have systematically refused to release Alya Abdulnoor on medical grounds despite the multiple demands submitted by her family and the call of UN experts and civil society organisation for her release on medical grounds, to allow her to live her last days with her family.

The family stated that the tumour had spread in her entire body after her arrest by the State Security Apparatus on July 29, 2015. They held the authorities fully responsible for the deterioration of her health condition after she was held in secret detention under torture and ill-treatment and after being deprived of appropriate medication for nearly four years, until her death two days ago.

In fact, Abdulnoor has not been provided adequate medical treatment after her arrest despite an early diagnosis. I was only very more than a year after her diagnosis that she was transferred to Mafraq hospital, a public hospital poorly equipped to treat her condition. Furthermore, she was only given strong painkillers and morphine but was denied specialised medical care to treat her cancer.

On January 10, 2019, she was transferred to Tawam Hospital in Al Ain, without informing her family and without her consent. When they visited her on January 21, 2019, her relatives found her chained to her bed and placed under strict surveillance, in very poor health and hygiene conditions. Despite the insistence of the family, the guards refused to remove the chains, stating that would not be removed before she is dead.

Even after the intervention of UN experts in February 2019, the authorities refused to release the victim on medical grounds or even to allow her mother to stay by her side at the hospital during her last days.

The ICJHR holds the UAE authorities responsible for the death of the prisoner of conscience Alya Abdulnoor in custody and for the deterioration of her health condition after she was exposed to torture and ill-treatment and denied appropriate medical care.

The Centre further calls on the UAE to open a prompt and impartial investigation into all the violations perpetrated against her and prosecute all those found responsible for these violations.

The ICJHR highly condemns the UAE authorities’ refusal to conduct a prompt and serious investigation by an independent body into the detainees’ exposure to torture, ill-treatment, unfair trial and arbitrary deprivation of their right to treatment. The ICJHR also calls upon the UAE government to hold accountable those involved in these violations and grant the prisoners of conscience their right to redress, reparation and rehabilitation.


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