Finnish women's rights activist to sue UAE govt over torture, ordeal in prison

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Finnish women's rights activist Tiina Jauhiainen (File photo via Twitter)

A Finnish women's rights activist has recounted her suffering during her detention in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), saying she will take legal actions against the Emirati government for her imprisonment and torture.

According to the Emirates Leaks, Tiina Jauhiainen plans to draw the international community’s attention to the gross human rights violations being committed in the Persian Gulf country.

Jauhiainen announced in a meeting held in the Swiss city of Geneva last week that she was not going to remain silent in the face of what she went through during her time behind bars and that she intended to take legal measures in European courts of law and sue the UAE for her torture.

During the event, she said Emirati security forces incarcerated her in an unknown and extremely cold place, repeatedly threatened her with death, and forced her to write confessions and sign official papers in Arabic.

Jauhiainen used to reside in the United Arab Emirates. She was arrested and tortured for participating in the failed attempt of Princess Latifa, the daughter of UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to escape from her father in 2018.

The Finnish activist then addressed the British women, saying, “I want to advise you to think twice before traveling to the UAE and never be fooled by the image of a [so-called] safe and tolerant society that some are trying to portray [of the country].”

Back in March 2020, female Emirati prisoner Maryam al-Balushi attempted suicide at a detention center in the UAE by cutting a vein in her arm, months after she reported being subjected to various forms of torture and threatened with rape.

The International Campaign for Freedom in the UAE (ICFUAE) said in a statement at the time that Balushi carried out the suicide at al-Wathba Prison, just outside the capital Abu Dhabi, due to the deterioration of her psychological state after being threatened by the public prosecution office as she refused to record confessions to be published via official channels.

Balushi was arrested on November 19, 2015 and was charged with financing “terrorism” after donating money to a Syrian family. She insists the donation was done in good faith, according to the ICFUAE.

Human rights sources, requesting not to be named, also revealed that Balushi had been denied medical treatment over months for liver cirrhosis and kidney stones.

The UAE authorities similarly denied care to another female detainee, identified as Amina al-Abdouli, who suffers from anemia and liver disease.

In May 2019, female detainee Alia Abdel Nour passed away from cancer after being denied access to urgent medical care by prison officials.


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