13:17, July 28 54 0 theguardian.com

2019-07-28 13:17:04
Call for inquiry into woman’s death in UAE custody

On 4 May, Alia Abdulnoor passed away in hospital in the UAE after a lengthy battle with breast cancer, which resurfaced shortly after her arrest in 2015 (Report, theguardian.com, 26 July). According to reliable sources, up until her death she did not receive adequate medical care to treat her illness and was reportedly forced to sign a document stating that she had refused chemotherapy. In the last months of her life, the UAE ignored calls from the UN to grant her early release on medical grounds. Instead, Alia died in inhumane conditions, shackled to a hospital bed, in a windowless room without ventilation. In past statements, both UN and EU representatives appear to have been satisfied that there is credible evidence that human rights violations occurred in her case. A UN spokesperson recently said her detention conditions “could amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment”.

Despite being diagnosed with breast cancer just a month into her arrest, Alia was repeatedly denied access to adequate medical care and was only transferred to a hospital over a year after the diagnosis. She also suffered physical abuse at the hands of prison warders, according to testimonies of fellow inmates. Alia was finally convicted in 2017 for terrorism and sentenced to 10 years in prison in a case Human Rights Watch has described as marred by due process violations.

As parliamentarians, we call on the UAE authorities to open an independent investigation into her case to establish whether she was treated in line with internationally agreed standards and, if appropriate, to initiate the prosecution of those responsible for any human rights violations that may have occurred.

Jo Swinson Liberal Democrat, East Dunbartonshire

Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton Pavilion

Stephen Kinnock Labour, Aberavon

Hilary Benn Labour, Leeds Central

Martyn Day SNP, Linlithgow and East Falkirk

Christine Jardine Liberal Democrat, Edinburgh West

Ben Bradshaw Labour, Exeter

Patricia Gibson SNP, North Ayrshire and Arran

Lloyd Russell-Moyle Labour, Brighton Kemptown

Andy Slaughter Labour, Hammersmith

Layla Moran Liberal Democrat, Oxford West and Abingdon

Chris Bryant Labour, Rhondda

Karen Buck Labour, Westminster North

Tommy Shepherd SNP, Edinburgh East

Tom Brake Liberal Democrat, Carshalton and Wallington

Kerry McCarthy Labour, Bristol East

Christopher Stephens SNP, Glasgow South West

Tonia Antoniazzi Labour, Gower

Jamie Stone Liberal Democrat, Caithness, Sunterland and Easter Ross

Stuart McDonald SNP Cumbernaild, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East

Paul Sweeney Labour, Glasgow North East

Darren Jones Labour, Bristol North West

Stewart Malcolm McDonald SNP, Glasgow South

Richard Burden Labour, Birmingham Northfield

Jo Stevens Labour, Cardiff Central

Sir George Howarth Labour, Knowsley

David Drew Labour, Stroud

Paul Farrelly Labour, Newcastle-under-Lyme

Geraint Davies Labour, Swansea West

Paul Scriven Liberal Democrat, House of Lords

Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com

Read more Guardian letters – click here to visit gu.com/letters

Do you have a photo you’d like to share with Guardian readers? Click here to upload it and we’ll publish the best submissions in the letters spread of our print edition

Topics