Amnesty International has criticised Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum for justifying the abduction and enforced disappearance of his own daughter, Sheikha Latifa, claiming it was a “private family matter”, adding that state-sanctioned abduction and inhuman treatment are not family affairs.
The rights watchdog described the sheikh’s behaviour as a gross violation of human rights and a cause of international concern.
Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director, Lynn Maalouf, said in a statement that the UK ruling in the case brought against the ruler of Dubai by his estranged wife, Princess Haya Bint Al-Hussein of Jordan, over the abduction and ill-treatment of his daughter Latifa was a “long-overdue step towards justice for Sheikha Latifa, who has been held incommunicado for two years now”.
“Dubai and the UAE must now allow her to speak and travel freely, including seeking asylum abroad, if she wishes to do so,” she said.
“Throughout the hearing, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid has insisted these are ‘private family matters’ – but state-sanctioned abduction and inhuman treatment is not a family affair. It is a serious human rights violation, and a matter of international concern,” she added.
“Federal law in the UAE leaves women unprotected and undermined, which too often leaves them vulnerable to abuse by male family members,” she said.
On Friday, the UK High Court of Justice’s Family Division ruled that Al-Maktoum had abducted, detained and abused his own daughter, Sheikha Latifa.
Amnesty International said the court’s findings are in line with its own findings.