Tori Towey: Outrage as ‘truly astonishing’ case sees Irishwoman facing prison in Dubai

28-year-old Tori Towey from Boyle in County Roscommon has been detained and barred from leaving the United Arab Emirates
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.50 10 Jul 2024

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Tori Towey: Outrage as ‘truly...

Tori Towey: Outrage as ‘truly astonishing’ case sees Irishwoman facing prison in Dubai

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.50 10 Jul 2024

Share this article

The charges against Irishwoman Tori Towey in Dubai have been branded ‘absurd’ and ‘truly astonishing’ by a human rights group.

The 28-year-old Roscommon woman was previously detained and has been barred from leaving the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Yesterday, the Dáil heard she is a victim of domestic violence and has been charged with attempting to take her own life.


After approaching police in Dubai for help, she was told she was barred from leaving the country and is facing charges of attempted suicide and abuse of alcohol.

She is now due in court before the end of the month.

'Physical and psychological abuse'

The Detained in Dubai group says Ms Towey has suffered a "campaign of physical, psychological and financial abuse" at the hands of her South African husband, who she met through work at Emirates Airlines.

In the latest incident, the group says, he jammed her arm in a bathroom door, slamming it repeatedly.

It also says he threatened to kill her before ripping up both of their passports.

Tori Towey is shown with injuries and bruising Tori Towey is seen with injuries and bruising. Image: Detained in Dubai

Detained in Dubai CEO Radha Stirling told Newstalk Breakfast Ms Towey relocated to the UAE just last year.

"She ended up marrying a South African man - things went south very quickly and he became physically abusive to her," she said.

"She went to hospital and had severe injuries... and then after that there was another assault and she broke free [and] ran up to the bathroom.

"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".

'She won't be able to leave'

Ms Stirling said Tori Towey's mother has joined her in Dubai.

"She's since left her husband and she's staying with her mother in an Airbnb safely but she's facing prosecution," she said.

"She's facing a potential prison sentence.

"There's a travel ban against her - she won't be able to leave Dubai until such time as police decide to drop the case against her."

Tori Towey Tori Towey. Image: Detained in Dubai

Ms Stirling branded the case against Ms Towey as 'absurd'.

"We have seen over the years rape victims charged with sex outside marriage, we've seen this kind of culture coming from the UAE before," she said.

"They had made an effort to say, for public relations purposes I suppose, that they were starting to take women's rights a bit more seriously [but] it seems like nothing's changed".

"This is truly astonishing that someone who's been beaten to the degree that she has - bruises all over her body - and now she's being abused by the system itself again.

"I find it outrageous".

Ms Stirling added that Ms Towey spoke to Ireland's Ambassador to the UAE Alison Milton on Tuesday night.

Anyone affected by issues raised in this article can contact Women's Aid 24h National Freephone Helpline on 1800 341 900

Main image: Tori Towey. Image: Detained in Dubai 

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Boyle County Roscommon Detained In Dubai Dubai Emirates Airlines Human Rights Advocate Newstalk Breakfast Radha Stirling Tori Towey United Arab Emirates

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