Following the death of UAE prisoner Alia Abdel-Nour on 4 May, the Chair of the EP Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), Antonio Panzeri, made this statement.
“I am dismayed by Alia Abdel-Nour’s death. It is shocking that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities showed no compassion, by ignoring all requests to release Alia and not allowing her to live her last days of life in dignity and with her family at home. The cruel and senseless suffering that Alia Abdel-Nour was subjected to since 2015 is clearly in contradiction with UAE’s 2019 Year of Tolerance, as designated by this country.
UAE’s authorities must be reminded that prisoners have rights; to begin with, the right to human dignity. Torture and ill-treatment are universally prohibited and any statement resulting from torture should not be accepted as evidence. Our sincere thoughts are with Alia’s family.”
Alia Abdel-Nour was arrested in 2015 and disappeared for six months without being allowed to communicate with her family, and with no information disclosed about her fate. Diagnosed with breast cancer, UAE authorities refused to grant her necessary chemotherapy and adequate medical care. Abdel Nour was sentenced to 10 years in jail in the UAE for collecting money for Syrian refugees on social media following the 2011 Syrian crisis. She died on 4 May in Tawan hospital after UAE authorities refused her early release on health grounds.