Tori Towey was working as a flight attendant for Emirates airline at the time the case was brought. Photo: Social media
Tori Towey was working as a flight attendant for Emirates airline at the time the case was brought. Photo: Social media

Dubai drops attempted suicide charge against Irish citizen Tori Towey



Dubai authorities have dropped charges of attempted suicide against Irish citizen Tori Towey.

The case against Ms Towey, who was working as a flight attendant for Emirates airline at the time it was brought, had been closed by Dubai Public Prosecution, Dubai Media Office said on Wednesday.

It stemmed from an incident involving Ms Towey, 28, and her husband in May, the media office said.

"Dubai Public Prosecution has closed the case involving Irish national Tori Towey after she and her husband, a South African national, were involved in a case featuring mutual charges of assault, dating back to May 2024," the media office said.

"The couple reached a reconciliation and withdrew the complaints filed against each other.

"Dubai Public Prosecution has also dropped the charges of attempted suicide against her considering the circumstances of the case and to enable her to return to normal life."

The case attracted international media attention after being raised in the Irish parliament this week.

Taoiseach Simon Harris pledged to intervene and later said he had spoken to Ms Towey and her mother, who was with her in the Emirates.

The Irish Embassy would take Ms Towey to the airport when she was ready to fly home, he said.

Legal changes

In 2020, the UAE amended its law to allow therapy as an alternative to punishment for those charged with attempting suicide, rather than imposing a fine or prison sentence.

Despite this amendment, attempted suicide remains a criminal offence.

The amendment specifically grants courts the authority to decide whether they want to refer defendants to rehabilitation centres instead of imposing penalties.

For alcohol use, while there is no punishment for drinking, each Emirate has the discretion to regulate use, circulation and trade. However, the law still imposes penalties for specific breaches.

People found consuming alcohol in public places or unauthorised areas, or causing disturbance or nuisance due to intoxication in public, can face up to six months in prison, a fine of up to Dh100,000 ($27,225), or both.

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Updated: July 12, 2024, 1:00 PM

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