Emirates Detainees Advocacy Center

Maryam Al-Blushi

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Detainee Timeline

  • March 8, 2020

    She was transferred from solitary confinement to hospital as she attempted to commit a suicide

  • February 23, 2020

    She started a hunger strike

  • June 5, 2017

    The ruling against her was upheld

  • May 8, 2017

    The appeal of her case started

  • February 22, 2017

    She was sentenced to five years imprisonment

  • October 24, 2016

    Her trial started

  • February 2016

    She was referred to the State Security Prosecution with official charges brought against her

  • November 19, 2015

    She was arrested without charges or an arrest warrant

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. 

Violations against the detainee

  • The lawyer was not allowed to visit her in Al-Wathba prison during her trial procedures at the first and second instances

  • The administration of Al-Wathba prison cut off contact with the victim and her family, so that she would not inform them of the dates of her retrial sessions in order not to attend, which actually led to the absence of her family and the lawyer, and the court's endorsement of the ruling of her imprisonment again

  • The judges, at the first and second instances, refused to investigate into the torture she was subjected to, and even refused to hear a complaint that she was subjected to torture