Dubai emir has allegedly detained and tortured his two daughters
Sheikha Latifa fled in late February 2018 and arrested on the 4th of March off the coast of India. She was taken back to the UAE against her will where it is believed that is being held in prison. .20 Juli 2018 17:20
Sheikha Latifa, daughter of Dubai Emir Sheikh Muhammad bin Rashid al-Maktoum, with her Finnish friend, Tiina Jauhiainen. (@detainedindubai for Albalad.co)
Most will obviously surprise when they heard about the case of Sheikha Latifa and Sheikha Shamsa. Both are daughters of Dubai Emir Sheikh Muhammad bin Rashid al-Maktoum.
Though he is well known as a modern and visionary leader, but Sheikh Muhammad has treated Sheikha Latifa and Sheikha Shamsa so badly.
According to Radha Stirling, CEO of Detain in Dubai, NGO which helps people involved in legal case in UAE, Sheikh Muhammad has allegedly detained and tortured them. The latest story is about Sheikha Latifa who was escaped in late February 2018 but arrested on the 4th of March off the coast of India
"She was taken back to the UAE against her will where it is believed that is being held in prison," said Radha in an exclusive interview via WhatsApp yesterday with Faisal Assegaf from Albalad.co. "She was jailed and abused when she was 16 years old."
Sheikha Latifa fled with the help of her two friends, former French spy Jean-Pierre Herve and Finnish woman Tiina Jauhiainen. She contacted Radha via email and WhatsApp five days before they were arrested.
Radha realizes that he take a big risk to get involve in this case and launch a massive campaign to free Sheikha Latifa and her sister, Sheikha Shamsa. "We received some death and bomb threats, a lot of hacking attempts," she said.
Why did Sheikha Latifa flee from his family in UAE?
The reasons are explained in the video she released that is available on YouTube. She says that she was tortured, imprisoned, lived in fear and had no freedom, a basic human right
When did she escape?
Late February and was caught on the 4th of March off the coast of India. There is a website www.freelatifa.com. It has all of the history.
Is there any help from India that made her arrested?
India assisted the UAE to unlawfully seize Latifa and her friends from a yacht in international waters, an act that is against international law and treaties and the United Nations is now investigating.
How about her fate now?
She was taken back to the UAE against her will where it is believed that is being held in prison. The United Nations and Human Rights Watch has requested answers from the UAE and India but both countries have been silent.
This is not her first flee. How could she escape from her father surveillance?
She had planned the escape for a long time and managed to time it well enough that she got to Oman and onboard the yacht with the assistance of her friends Tiina and Christian.
I think many people don't believe that Dubai Emir Sheikh Muhammad bin Rashid al-Maktoum will treat her daughter so badly because he is well known as a modern and visioner leader. What is your comment?
The UAE relies upon heavy marketing and expensive public relations firms to promote the country as being modern and safe. This could not be further from the truth and this has been evidenced by the abuse of numerous foreigners and now, we can see, even children in the ruling family have been subject to human rights violations.
This is not the first time, the UAE has been accused of human rights violations. They were successfully sued in the USA for torture, there has been deaths in custody due to police brutality, others have taken their own torture cases to the press and to the United Nations. Women are jailed after reporting rape.
The marketing and public relations is not strong enough to withstand the reality of what the UAE actually is. People are becoming more and more aware that the UAS is unsafe to visit, invest in or reside in.
This case serves as a high profile reminder of the truth of Dubai. We have dealt with 10,000 cases over the past decade. The United Kingdom refuses to extradite people to the UAE based on the possibility of torture and human rights violations.
The UAE is the most likely place for foreigners to be arrested abroad and is the biggest serious risk to travelers. Even sharing a charity on Facebook is grounds for prosecution.
Or is there any particular reason from Dubai emir to treat her daughters so badly, like Sheikha Latifa rejected an arrangement marriage?
There is nothing special about Sheikha Latifa or her sister (Sheikha Shamsa). It is common in this region that certain children will be public, others private, some threaten well and some not.
Latifa had previously attempted to escape to help her sister, who had been incarcerated and forcibly drugged. Her escape attempt lead to her own imprisonment and torture when she was 16 years old.
Regardless of any behaviour that her father was dissatisfied with, she is an adult woman of 32 years old, and is entitiled to take control of her own life.
Is she married?
She has not been offered marriage and nor has she been permitted to spend time with any men of her choosing. This is a common situation.
How strict regulation imposed to her and her sister before escape?
Their lives were completely restricted. They had curfews and escorts. When her sister Shamsa tried to escape in England, she was kidnapped from the streets kicking and screaming, forced onto a helicopter, transferred to a plane and taken back to Dubai. This was in breach of local UK law and was opened as a kidnapping case.
We have to remember, these are adult women. Imagine having absolutely no control over anything in your life when you are 30 years old? Latifa was not even allowed the leave the emirate of Dubai with an escort, not allowed to visit Abu Dhabi for her whole life.
I would only be speculating if I answered that. Perhaps because she was dissatisfied with being controlled and unhappy with her treatment. Perhaps because she tried to escape
And once she had been imprisoned and tortured, why would he want her to have her freedom? She could talk to the press and disclose what happened to her, as she has done. She was jailed and abused when she was 16 years old.
I mean why she was not allowed to go anywhere for her whole life?
I assume that her freedom was restricted because Sheikh Mohammed did not want her to disclose that to anyone.
How and when did Sheikha Latifa contact your organisation for first time?
About 5 days before they were captured by email and WhatsApp.
Why did she contact you?
For two reasons, she was approaching India and wanted me to assist in the event they were arrested or the UAE tried to extradite her through the legal process
And because she felt that she would be safer if her story was in the press and wanted me to help get it out there. She thought that if her story was out there and the public was watching, he couldn’t do this to her.
Do you get any update about her condition now?
There are rumours only. The UAE has not replied and nothing told to us can be guaranteed as true or accurate. But we believe she is currently in solitary confinement in one of their prisons.
Considering she has previously been beaten and tortured, I would expect she is suffering the same.
What will you do to release her from detention?
The FBI is investigating the matter, the United Nations is investigating and we are re-opening the kidnapping of Shamsa in the UK. All of these actions put more pressure on the UAE to free her.
On other points, we are taking the matter to the US courts, India, and EU courts. Not only was Latifa taken from the yacht but all crews on board were assaulted, kidnapped, and held in the UAE against laws and treaties. A US/French national, a Finish national, and three Philippines nationals.
This is unlawful and unacceptable and the UAE can not get away with such acts or it would set a dangerous precedent. It would show the world that any country can do anything without consequence.
Do you get life threats because try to help Sheikha Latifa and her sister?
Yes, we received some death and bomb threats, a lot of hacking attempts. All reported to the British National Crime Agency and Terrorism unit.
Do you live in London?
Based in London, yes.
How old Sheikha Shamsha and is she married?
No, she is not married. She is still on forced drugs and held in custody. I will check on her age, I think 34.