Following Rahaf’s escape from Saudi, Hind Al-Bolooki appoints Radha Stirling to help her escape the
Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai and UAE country expert witness, spoke with Hind Al-Bolooki from detention in Macedonia, pledging to help her secure freedom from abuse and provide expert testimony for her asylum application.
Ms Stirling issued the following statement:
Today I had a conference call with Hind Al-Bolooki and some of her friends and supporters. Hind could barely speak above a whisper, and I could sense the desperation in her voice. She wanted to know whether Canada or whomever would send her back to the UAE. She is utterly terrified of that possibility. Hind has photographic evidence of the physical abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband, and the outrageous set of rules he expected her to follow have already been circulated in social media; they amount to house arrest.
Hind’s journey to Macedonia was arduous. She escaped her family with nothing but her passport and a handbag. She traveled through Bahrain, Turkey, and Serbia to reach the only friends she had whom she could trust not to send her back to the UAE.
After applying for asylum, she was free in Macedonia for two months while her application was processed; but was then arrested on December 8th. Following her arrest, Hind was visited by high-ranking Macedonian officials, including Zoran Verushevski, an advisor to Prime Minister Zoran Zaev. She was pressured to return to the UAE voluntarily. Officials also pressured Hind’s friends in Macedonia to convince her to go back. This unusual level of intervention by the government on behalf of the UAE indicates that her asylum application was predetermined for rejection.