Maryam Al-Blushi, who is a final year student at the College of Technology, was arrested by the UAE security forces over donating $600 to a Syrian family.
Al-Balushi was subjected to various forms of violations, including enforced disappearance, torture, and arbitrary detention without trial. She spent about 5 months in secret detention without any contacts with family except once.
Her apprehension and trial
On November 19, 2015, the UAE State Security forces arrested Maryam Al-Blushi from her house in Al-Kalba, without charges or arrest warrant.
She disappeared and was placed in a secret detention center for 5 months, where she was interrogated, beaten, humiliated and threatened with rape. During the interrogation, Al-Blushi was denied her right to legal assistance. Also, she was forced to give self-incriminating confessions.
In February 2016, Al-Blushi was referred to the State Security Prosecution, without a lawyer, and was formally charged under the Terrorism Law and the Cybercrime Law. The charges included "financing terrorism", which relates to a donation of $600 to a Syrian family in 2014.
On October 24, 2016, Al-Blushi's trial began, and the court sentenced her to five years imprisonment. On 5 June 2017, the ruling was appealed yet upheld by the State Security Chamber of the Federal Supreme Court.
In mid-2018, Al-Blushi was able to send a series of audio recordings referring to the poor conditions in Al-Wathba prison, where she is currently detained, and to the violations that prisoners are exposed to.
On July 30, 2019, she was summoned for interrogation at the State Security Prosecution. There, three new charges were brought against her: “leaking false information”, “publishing news that affects the reputation of the UAE and Al-Wathba negatively” and “causing problems between countries”, and the trial has not started yet.
In response to Al-Blushi’s refusal to cooperate with the State Security Prosecution and to register confessions against herself, in February, 2020, she was placed in a solitary confinement in an attempt to exert pressure on her.
On February 23, 2020, Al-Blushi began a hunger strike to protest against solitary confinement and humiliating treatment. The solitary confinement ended after only four days as she attempted to commit suicide by cutting a vein in her hand. She was then transferred to the prison clinic for dressing her wound.