Irish PM to intervene in case of woman detained in Dubai

Via Matt Fox, BBC News NI

Tori Towey detained in DubaiDetained in Dubai

Irish woman Tori Towey is in ‘worst circumstances’ in the United Arab Emirates, Dáil has heard

Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Simon Harris has said he is ready to “intervene” in the case of an Irish woman facing criminal charges in the United Arab Emirates in what he called “the most appalling circumstances”.

Mr Harris was answering a question from Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald in the Dáil (Irish House of Commons) on Tuesday, according to Irish broadcaster RTÉ.

Ms McDonald told TDs (Irish parliamentarians) that Tori Towey from County Roscommon was facing charges of “attempted suicide and alcohol abuse”.

The BBC has contacted the UAE government for comment on the incident.

Mr Harris said he was not aware of the 28-year-old’s case, but noted that Sinn Féin had raised the issue with Foreign Secretary Micheál Martin.

“Thank you, Deputy McDonald, for reporting Tori’s case to me,” the prime minister said.

“I don’t have a direct assessment of the current situation, but I’m happy to have a direct assessment right now.”

Mr Harris pledged to work with Ms McDonald “to intervene and look at how we can support an Irish citizen in what from what she tells me appears to be the worst possible situation”.

‘Most serious domestic violence’

It is known that Ms. Towey used to work as a flight attendant and currently lives in Dubai.

Speaking in the Dáil, Ms McDonald said she had spoken to Ms Towey on Tuesday.

She said Ms Towey’s mother had come to Dubai to be with her and she “wanted to come home”.

“She was a victim of the most serious form of domestic violence,” Ms McDonald said.

“Her passport has been revoked. She has been banned from traveling.”

Allow Twitter Content?

This article contains content provided by Twitter. We ask for your permission before loading anything, as they may use cookies and other technologies. You may want to read And before accepting. To view this content please select ‘accept and move on’.

Ms McDonald told the Dáil that the Irish government should “make it clear to the Dubai authorities that no woman should be treated in this way” and that “an Irish citizen, an Irish woman, would not be treated in this way”.

The State Department said it was aware of the incident and was providing consular assistance.

‘The government is behind us’

Ms Towey is receiving support from lawyer and human rights activist Radha Stirling, who runs the group Detained in Dubai.

“Tori is due to appear in court next week. She has been charged with drinking alcohol and attempting suicide, both of which are traditionally illegal in this country,” Ms Stirling told BBC News NI.

She explained that Ms Towey is currently under a travel ban and cannot leave the United Arab Emirates.

“The Irish government fully supports us in asking the UAE police to drop the case against her.”

Reuters Simon HarrisReuters

Taoiseach Simon Harris has pledged to intervene on behalf of Tori Towey

Ms Stirling said Ms Towey could not afford a lawyer, “so it made things even more difficult and confusing for her”.

Even if found innocent, the legal process could take “months,” she explained, but the family remains optimistic that international pressure will benefit their case.

“If the Irish government supports her case and does everything they can diplomatically… then it is very likely that she will be home in Ireland next week,” she added.

“With all the support [Tori and her mother] I’m extremely happy and very, very optimistic that things will go well next week.”

  • If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this story, you can visit BBC Action Line.


News 7F: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button