Irish woman being prosecuted in Dubai for attempted suicide

Irish woman being prosecuted in Dubai for attempted suicide

Tori Towey

An Irish woman is being prosecuted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for attempting to take her own life as a result of alleged domestic abuse, according to her family.

Human rights lawyer Radha Stirling, CEO of campaign group Detained in Dubai, is supporting the family of 28-year-old Tori Towey, who has worked since April 2023 for Emirates Airlines as a cabin crew member.

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald yesterday raised Ms Towey’s situation in the Dáil, leading Taoiseach Simon Harris to give a commitment to “intervene and see how we can support an Irish citizen in what sounds to be… the most appalling of circumstances”.

According to Detained in Dubai, Ms Towey, from Co Roscommon, was charged with attempted suicide and alcohol consumption after the last in a series of violent assaults she has allegedly suffered at the hands of her husband.

She was previously prevented from leaving the UAE for Ireland as a result of an unexplained travel ban, and her passport was later destroyed, the group added.

Her case has been listed for hearing in a Dubai court next Thursday 18 July.

Ms Stirling said: “Tori’s experience is nothing short of tragic and quite frankly, she is lucky to be alive.

“It’s amazing that authorities did not intervene for Tori’s protection, given the state her body was in when she was hospitalised the first time.

“Emirates Airlines, the Irish Embassy and the UAE medical and police services could certainly have done more to help Tori.”

She added: “The UAE used to charge rape victims with sex outside marriage. Now they’re charging domestic violence victims with attempted suicide and alcohol consumption. Dubai police need to be educated on victim care.

“We are calling on Dubai authorities to urgently drop the charges against Tori, remove the travel ban and let her fly home to Ireland with her mother.”

Ms McDonald, who said she spoke to Ms Towey yesterday afternoon, told the Dáil: “Tori wants to come home. It is as simple as that. She is a Roscommon woman, and she wants to come home.”

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