- the WGEID’s investigation be given an urgent status
- the UN promptly require the UAE authorities immediately to provide precise details of Latifa’s whereabouts
- the UN promptly direct the UAE authorities to provide concrete and genuine guarantees for Latifa’s safety and welfare, including by providing immediate access to her, wherever she is held
- all necessary steps are urgently initiated for the UN to intervene and protect Latifa from all violations of her human rights, in particular, to direct that she is released immediately by the UAE authorities from her captivity.
LONDON The United Nations is being urged to take ‘decisive action’ to protect Princess Latifa Al Maktoum of Dubai who is now in ‘grave danger’ at the hands of her father, the ruler of Dubai. The remarkable kidnapping of the 34-year-old princess by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for daring to leave Dubai against his wishes caught the world’s attention after Indian and Emirati troops stormed the boat Latifa and her friend Tiina Jauhiainen were on after Latifa’s escape from Dubai in February 2018. Yet despite worldwide publicity and an award-winning BBC documentary, the princess remains held against her will in Dubai. She has not been seen in public since the boat was stormed on 4 March 2018. Now the princess’s legal team is ramping up the pressure by calling on the 122nd session of the UN Working group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) to get the UN to intervene and force Dubai to provide precise details of Latifa’s whereabouts without delay. In the recent submission to the WGEID meeting, leading human rights QC Rodney Dixon concludes: “We are anxious to ensure that the UN takes all possible steps now to secure the safety, health and release of [Princess Latifa].” And urges the UN to “take decisive action in respect of this case which has gone on for a considerable period of time while Princess Latifa remains in grave danger”. Latifa’s high-powered legal team based in London also filed a 76-page submission to the UN WGEID Working Group at its last session earlier in the year which concluded, “Given the heightened and substantiated endangerment of Princess Latifa, we request the WGEID urgently intervene to guarantee Princess Latifa’s safety and welfare and to ensure that she is released immediately from being detained unlawfully in the UAE by the UAE authorities.” The submission set out the ruling by Sir Andrew McFarlane at England’s High Court in the custody battle between Princess Haya of Jordan and Latifa’s father. That ruling included the findings that Latifa was kidnapped in 2018 and her father, the ruler of Dubai, was not “open or honest” when trying to assure the world that Latifa was safe in his care. Jones and Dixon are asking the UN to consider evidence from the London hearing, which warrants that: