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Woman jailed in UAE for charitable work reportedly dies in Jail

Alia Abdulnoor was serving a 10-year sentence in the UAE related to money she had raised online for needy Syrians

Alia Abdulnoor, an Emirati woman imprisoned after raising money for needy Syrians, has reportedly died.

Al Jazeera and online activists said Abdulnoor died in the Tawam hospital in al-Ain. She was suffering from breast cancer.

Abdulnoor was serving a 10-year sentence over terrorism charges. The conviction relates to her work raising money online for Syrian women and children, both in the United Arab Emirates and in war-torn Syria.

Campaigners and the United Nations have said Abdulnoor disappeared for six months following her arrest, and was held in solitary confinement.

According to the UN, in that time she was subjected to intense psychological and physical humiliation, and was forced to sign a false confession under torture.


According to her family, she had cancer before she was arrested. However, they say she then began suffering from osteoporosis and liver fibrosis.

In February, a panel of United Nations experts said she was reportedly being held in a windowless, unventilated room, and was chained to a bed under armed guard.

"We are extremely concerned about the physical and mental integrity of Ms Abdulnoor, and about reports that the conditions of detention are causing her unnecessary pain," the experts said in a statement at the time.

Repeated appeals to release her on medical grounds were ignored by the Emirati authorities.

Though Abdulnoor was transferred to hospital in November, she was reportedly denied adequate medication to reduce her pain.

"We call on the authorities to release Ms Abdulnoor and to allow her to live her last days of life in dignity and with her family at home," the UN experts said in February.

"We also call on the State to investigate alleged acts of torture and ill-treatment, and to prosecute the suspected perpetrator(s) in line with its obligations under international human rights law."

According to the London-based International Campaign for Freedom in the United Arab Emirates, there are currently more than 200 political prisoners in the UAE.

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