Harris confirms travel ban on Irish woman detained in Dubai has been lifted



Taoiseach Simon Harris has confirmed a travel ban imposed by authorities in Dubai on Irish woman Tori Towey has been lifted.

Ms Towey had been banned from leaving the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after she was charged with attempted suicide and consuming alcohol in Dubai.

“I’ve just been informed that the travel ban has been lifted, that the embassy will take Tori to the airport as soon as she is ready to go and that the embassy, of course, will continue to follow up on the case, which is still active as of now,” Mr Harris told the Dáil on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Harris thanked the Irish embassy in the UAE for its work on the case, and Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald and Roscommon TD Claire Kerrane who had raised the matter in the Dáil on Tuesday.

Speaking in the Dáil on Wednesday, Ms McDonald criticised the “medieval, grotesque treatment of women” in the UAE.

“(Tori) does not belong to Dubai, she belongs at home in Ireland,” Ms McDonald said.

The update comes after the Government was commended by a human rights group for its swift action regarding Ms Towey’s case.

The chief executive of Detained in Dubai, Radha Stirling, told Newstalk radio: “I’m super impressed by Ireland’s response, it was so swift.”

“When a government gets behind their citizens, when they go the extra mile, they are successful in getting citizens home.”

Ms Stirling outlined the background of the case, explaining Ms Towey had moved to Dubai last year to pursue an aviation career.

“She was working as cabin crew for Emirates Airlines, and she ended up marrying a South African man.

“Things went south very quickly, and he became physically abusive to her. She went to hospital and had severe injuries.

“After that, there was another assault, and she broke free, ran up to the bathroom, and she woke up with paramedics and police over her, and she was taken to the police station and actually charged with attempted suicide and consuming alcohol,” Ms Stirling said.

On the outpouring of support for Ms Towey, Ms Stirling added: “It’s amazing to see people really standing behind her and wanting her home as soon as possible.”

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can contact Women’s Aid (24-hour freephone helpline at 1800-341 900, email [email protected]), Men’s Aid Ireland (confidential helpline at 01-554 3811, email [email protected]), or the Samaritans (24-hour confidential freephone helpline at 116 123, email [email protected]) for support and information. Safe Ireland also offers a number of local services and helplines at safeireland.ie/get-help/where-to-find-help/.



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