Alaa al-Siddiq, a prominent dissident Emirati rights activist and critic, has died in a car crash near London.
Alaa was the executive director of the United Kingdom-based ALQST, a non-profit organisation that advocates for greater freedoms and human rights in the UAE and the wider Gulf region.
“With deep sadness, ALQST mourns the sudden death of its loved and respected Executive Director Alaa Al-Siddiq on Saturday 19 June 2021,” the group said in a tweet. “May she rest in power.”
Her father, Mohammad al-Siddiq, is also a prominent activist who has been held in detention by Emirati authorities since 2013.
The news of Alaa'a ( @alaa_q ) passing is devastating!
Alaa is a Human Rights Defender & the daughter of a political prisoner detained in UAE since 2013.
Foul play or not (time will tell). Alaa lived and died for justice.
Justice will prevail.
Allah yer7amha 🤍 pic.twitter.com/cD4ijMHCgC
— Abrara (@Abrara_Rageh) June 20, 2021
اليوم رحلت عن هذه الدنيا الباحثة الإماراتية القديرة والأخت الصادقة المدافعة عن العدالة الأستاذة #آلاء_الصديق @alaa_q بينما يقبع والدها محمد الصديق في سجون الإمارات سيئة السمعة.
أسأل الله أن يتقبلها في الصالحين وأن يرزق أهلها وذويها ومحبيها الصبر والسلوان، وأن يفرّج عن والدها pic.twitter.com/yAdrscdkq8
— د. عبدالله العودة (@aalodah) June 20, 2021
“Today, the able Emirati researcher and honest sister, professor Alaa al-Siddiq, left this world, while her father, Mohammad al-Siddiq languishes in the notorious prisons of the [United Arab] Emirates,” wrote Saudi activist Abdullah al-Awda.
According to Doha News, Alaa and her husband sought 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 neighbours.
Alaa Al-Siddiq, Director of @ALQST_En, died yesterday.
She spent most of her life fighting for the release of her father from UAE prisons & for rights of prisoners across the world. She never got to see her father be freed. Inna lilahi wa inna ilayhi rajiun. pic.twitter.com/e8n8HXuIRU
— Fatima Said (@fatimazsaid) June 20, 2021
In 2018, Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani said a dispute had taken place between Qatar and the UAE in 2015 concerning a political dissident’s wife.
Abu Dhabi had sent an envoy to Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to ask that the woman in question be handed over to Emirati authorities, a request that was turned down by the Qatari ruler.
Though kept secret, Abdullah al-Athbah, the editor in chief of Qatar’s al-Arab newspaper, later said it was Alaa who the Emiratis sought to repatriate.
Unspeakable loss. @alaa_q, an avid researcher and freedom fighter, passed away today in London. She dedicated her life to challenging the Emirati regime and fighting for the freedom of innocent prisoners. #آلاء_الصديق https://t.co/ZoU0WvSLZv
— Hussein Cheaito | حسين شعيتو (@husseinch96) June 20, 2021
A heartbreaking news.. Alaa Al-Siddiq, a veteran WHRD, who defended tirelessly the right of prisoners of conscience in her home country UAE, the Gulf & the region, passed away today in a car crash in London… #آلاء_الصديق #آلاء_الصديق https://t.co/JSxJHzIJYX
— Yasmine J. Hajar (@yasmine_hajar) June 20, 2021