Irish Government Intervenes to Get Woman Out of Dubai

Flight attendant was allegedly assaulted, then detained and charged herself
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2024 9:03 AM CDT
Irish Government Intervenes to Get Woman Out of Dubai
The skyline of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.   (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

The Irish government is on the brink of getting one of its citizens out of the United Arab Emirates after a murky set of disturbing circumstances. The Guardian reports that 28-year-old flight attendant Tori Towey was charged with attempted suicide and alcohol consumption, then prevented from leaving the country where she resides. The charges were not explained, but advocates—including Irish lawmakers—say Towey was charged only after being brutally assaulted by a man inside her residence in the city of Dubai.

"What Tori has been through is, I think, unimaginable for so many people here in this country, that a woman who has been the victim of a brutal attack found herself waking up not in a hospital, but in a police station," said Irish leader Simon Harris, per the BBC. Lawmaker Mary McDonald, deputy leader of Sinn Fein, brought Towey's plight to the nation's attention in the Irish parliament on Tuesday—"she has been the victim of the most gross domestic violence"—and the government took steps to intervene.

On Wednesday, Harris said Towey's travel ban has been lifted, and she is expected to be allowed to fly back to Ireland soon. Her mother has traveled to the UAE to be with her in the meantime. The charges have perplexed human rights advocates because the UAE has reportedly been taking steps in recent years to decriminalize alcohol consumption as well as attempted suicide, per RTE. Family members in Ireland say they find it impossible to believe Towey would have tried to take her own life anyway. (More Dubai stories.)

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