Emirates Detainees Advocacy Center

Alia AbdulNour

Died, May 4, 2019 while arrested in the hospital

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Detainee Timeline

  • May 4, 2019

    Due to medical negligence, Alia died

  • October 30, 2017

    Her family’s appeal for health release was rejected

  • May 15, 2017

    She was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment

  • October 27, 2015

    She was brought before court for being affiliated with a terrorist organization

  • November 28, 2015

    She was arrested with no legal reasons or an arrest warrant

Alia AbdulNour, a social activist, was born in 1981 in Ajman. The UAE authorities arrested her for collecting donations and financial aid to women and children in Syria and some needy families in the UAE.
Alia was subjected to various forms of violations, including enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention with no trial as she was kept in an unknown detention center for more than four months, in which she only contacted her family for a month. 
Due to deliberate medical negligence and delay in specialized cancer treatment, on May 4, 2019, Alia died whike she cuffed in Tawam Hospital in Al Ain.

Her apprehension and trial 
On July 28, 2015, the UAE state security forces stormed her family house, broke the door, beat her, and arrested her with no legal reasons or an arrest warrant.
Then, she disappeared and was placed in an unknown detention center for 4 months, where she was interrogated, beaten, humiliated, and threatened with rape. During interrogations, she was forced to sign confessions that she did not read.
On October 27, 2015, Alia was brought before the State Security Court; she was charged with collaborating with an international terrorist organization. On May 15, 2017, and after 9 hearings, the court sentenced Alia to 10 years imprisonment.
In August 2017, the Arab Organization for Human Rights in the UK secured a letter written by Alia, in which she listed all the violations she endured since she was arrested without an arrest warrant. She was subjected to enforced disappearance and various forms of torture. Although she had cancerous tumors and her condition deteriorated, she was detained in substandard circumstances and was denied any medical care. Her health deteriorated even more as suffered from enlarged lymph nodes, osteoporosis, and cirrhosis.
The case of Alia fueled considerable controversy, especially after a phone call with her family was leaked on October 29, 2017. In the call, she said, “I suffer from chest tightness. They deliberately tease me, wanting me to create problems. I have to sink to their level in order to get my basic rights. I need nothing in the first place; I just want to contact you.”
She continued, “I can no longer bear it, but what will I bear?” I am trapped in this room that lacked everything. I see nothing. I am deprived of going out, deprived of air, deprived of my most basic rights. I need nothing, and I did not ask for a super treatment. Still, abuse continues. Why?”
The following day, The Crown Prince Court refused, with no reasons, the appeal her family issued for a health release.
On Saturday, May 4, 2019, Alia died after cancer spread in her body. It is worth mentioning that she died cuffed in the hospital bed. 

Violations against the detainee

  • The victim was placed in Al-Wathba prison, which is for sentenced persons. During her trial, she was not placed in a hospital appropriate to her health condition

  • She was not provided a wheelchair for her during trial for a better movement, nor was she given a medical proper bed that suit her health condition. That led her to lie down in the court as she was racked in pain

  • Did not take the victim's health condition into consideration during the trial, as her hands and feet were tied. She was forced to walk from prison to the deportation car park, without at least providing a wheelchair for her. Then, she would be taken to trial from 7 am to 12 pm into the waiting room with her hands and feet tied.