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Prominent Emirati Rights Activist Dies Mysteriously In London Car Crash

Prominent Emirati Rights Activist Dies Mysteriously In London Car Crash
folder_openUnited Kingdom access_timeone month ago
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By Staff, Agencies

Prominent Emirati human rights activist and political dissident Alaa al-Siddiq died in a car crash in London, with social media activists, journalists and writers raising doubts about her liquidation.

Siddiq was the executive director of the United Kingdom-based ALQST organization that campaigns for greater freedoms and better human rights conditions in the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf Arab states.

“With deep sadness, ALQST mourns the death of its executive director, icon of the Emirati human rights movement Alaa al-Siddiq, in a tragic traffic accident on Saturday, 19 June 2021,” the group said in a statement.

“Many people will remember her tireless devotion to her work; her passion for helping others and standing up for them; her powerful defense of human rights; and her efforts in support of worthy causes,” the statement added.

Immediately after the report about the death of the Emirati human rights activist broke, activists rushed to mourn her and suggested the possibility that the incident was orchestrated by the UAE authorities, with the aim of stopping her activity in exposing the practices of the ruling regime in Abu Dhabi.

“The director of the ALQST human rights organization, Alaa al-Siddiq, died after being hit by a car in Britain, in what looks like a criminal act. And I knew her in Doha, observing her honorable qualities, may God accept her,” political analyst Muhammad al-Mukhtar al-Shanqiti wrote in his tweet.

Writer Feras Abu Hilal said, “She was a victim of oppression, which arrested her father, deprived him of citizenship, stripped his family of citizenship and prevented them from working and earning a living. The worst betrayal is the betrayal of the intellectual!”

According to Doha News, Siddiq and her spouse initially sought political asylum in Qatar in 2012, where they had been living with their relatives.

The activist’s presence in Qatar, and Doha’s stance towards political activists at a time when the UAE was cracking down on voices of dissent led to a rift between the two neighbors.

Siddiq focused on the release of political prisoners of conscience in the UAE, including her father Mohammad, who was stripped of his Emirati citizenship.

He continues to be imprisoned in Abu Dhabi, where he has been held in detention since 2012.

Siddiq gained asylum in the UK, along with her ex-husband Abdulrahman Omar, in 2018.

In 2018, Qatar's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said the UAE had requested the extradition of a political dissident's wife in 2015.

Qatar turned down the request, which led to a diplomatic rift two years before the UAE joined a Saudi-led blockade against the energy-rich Persian Gulf kingdom.

Although Al Thani did not mention Siddiq's name at the time, Abdullah bin Hamad al-Athba, the editor-in-chief of the Qatar-based Al Arab newspaper, later confirmed it was her.