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    Women excluded from gender-equality awards, UAE. | Photo: Dubai Media Office

Published 11 February 2019

An Emirati woman who fled her family is currently trapped in a detention center in North Macedonia where her claim for asylum has been rejected.

An Emirati woman who fled her family is currently trapped in a detention center in North Macedonia where her claim for asylum has been rejected.

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The woman’s friends claim her request for asylum was rejected because of pressure by the Emirati government on Macedonia’s authority, according to The Guardian.

Hin Mohammed al-Bolooki, 43, says she was locked in a room at her Dubai home by her family after having requested a divorce.

Bolooki was able to flee her country to Macedonia despite facing ‘threats’ from her family. The family had originally demanded her passport because they did not trust her, according to the woman.

She has been held in a detention center since Dec. 7, 2018, with no immediate prospect for her release.

“I don’t know how to get out of here,” said Bolooki in a voice message. She added, “I am a mother of four children. No mother would leave her kids like this...but I had to leave my kids. I had no other choice.”

Bolooki escaped with the help of a friend by traveling overland in Bahrain, from where she flew to Turkey and Serbia to her friends’ family home.

She was arrested and taken to the Gazi Baba detention center on grounds that she posed a threat to national security while her asylum application was being processed. Bolooki is also being prevented from accessing her legal counsel, according to The Guardian.

North Macedonian authorities have applied constant pressure on her to drop the case and return to her home country, according to her friend and lawyer.

The director of the Helsinki Committee has declared that there are irregularities in the way authorities are handling the Emirati woman’s case, “It appears Bolooki’s case had been rushed through the asylum system at an unprecedented speed so the authorities can close her case and send her home,” said Director Uranija Pirovska.

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