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Dubai Ruler Accused Of Hypocrisy Ahead Of High Court Judgement

DUBAI RULER ACCUSED OF HYPOCRISY AHEAD OF HIGH COURT JUDGEMENT

In a week that saw the United Arab Emirates kick off its “World Tolerance Summit” Monday also saw the start of the final hearings in the High Court battle over the children of the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, as his legal team moved to silence the worlds media.

Her Royal Highness Princess Haya attended the High Court yesterday Monday 11th November 2019, her former husband did not. The disgraced Dubai ruler has failed to attend any of the English court hearings to date, on a previous hearing date the Sheikh was in the United Kingdom but choose to ignore the hearing and was seen purchasing racehorses instead.

The High Court is expected to issue its judgement this week, possibly tomorrow. The decision is expected to be a significant slap in the face for Sheikh Mohammed, with implications for the fate of others, notably his daughter Princess Latifa Al Maktoum, who is currently being held against her will in arbitrary detention in Dubai for more than 21 months. Now the subject of a United Nations investigation, Princess Latifa and her friend Tiina Jauhiainen, a Finnish national, were kidnapped at gunpoint on the Dubai rulers’ instructions in March 2018 from their boat off the coast of India, following the Princess second attempt to escape Dubai. The Sheikh is accused of grave abuses of human rights including torture and abuse of various female family members including by Princess Latifa in her video, now seen by millions around the world, now part of Amnesty International award-winning BBC documentary Escape from Dubai.

As the second day of hearings commenced today, lawyers acting the Dubai ruler issued a thee page briefing note to British media seemingly designed to silence the media further from reporting on the case and the Dubai Ruler.

  • Any judgement against Sheikh Mohammed over access to his children – if the head of state is denied access to his children, or given only restricted access, it will cast a increased focus on the fate of his daughters Latifa and Shamsa, who are both being held by him against their will (and, we assume, being subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment, physically and mentally abused and further subjected to questionable uses of psychiatry) after they were violently kidnapped and returned to Dubai following various escape attempts over the last two decades
  • Any non-molestation orders that are made by the court
  • Any order to do with preventing forced marriage of the children
  • Any order over in relation to reporting restrictions

The Free Latifa campaign will issue a press release immediately after the judgement is able to be reported on, setting out what it means for Latifa’s case and any others affected by the ruling. This will include quotes from Latifa’s cousin, Marcus Essabri, her human rights lawyer David Haigh and the Free Latifa campaign director and Latifa’s best friend Tiina Jauhiainen and Latifa’s legal team including Alun Jones QC and Rodney Dixon QC.

If you would like a quote for use before the judgement, please quote lawyer David Haigh as saying: “We will be watching the High Court’s judgement very closely. The case will tell us a lot about how an independent court judges Sheikh Mohammed’s ability to deal respectfully and appropriately with his children. Any condemnation by the court of his ability to treat his children will strengthen the case for the immediate release of Latifa and further highlight his countires grave human rights abuses, presided over by the Dubai ruler himself. That in turn will act as a shot in the arm to all women in the Gulf who are victims of the slavery of Gulf women that is male guardianship.”

The Free Latifa campaign will issue a press release immediately after the judgement is able to be reported on, setting out what it means for Latifa’s case and any others affected by the ruling. This will include quotes from Latifa’s cousin, Marcus Essabri, her human rights lawyer David Haigh and the Free Latifa campaign director and Latifa’s best friend Tiina Jauhiainen and Latifa’s legal team including Alun Jones QC and Rodney Dixon QC.

Sheikh Mohammed is being represented by Helen Ward, who represented Guy Ritchie in his divorce from Madonna, while Princess Haya’s legal team is being led by Fiona Shackleton, who represented Prince Charles in his divorce from Princess Diana.

Sheikh Mohammed is estimated to have a net worth in excess of $4 billion, according to Forbes.

A preliminary hearing will be held at the Family Division of the High Court in London on July 30 and July 31.(MORE: ‘Londongrad’: The real-life fight against dirty money flowing into London from foreign countries)

Princess Haya allegedly fled Dubai after discovering “disturbing facts” regarding the return of her stepdaughter, Princess Latifa, following Latifa’s alleged escape attempt last year, the BBC reported. She allegedly fled with her children, according to reports.

Radha Stirling, the founder of Detained in Dubai, a human rights organization which specializes in the UAE, told ABC News that Princess Latifa fled Dubai in February of last year, before she was recaptured in a military raid on a yacht in the Indian Ocean in March 2018.

“Princess Latifa’s very public escape shocked the world,” Stirling told ABC News. “Sheikh Mohammed was a prominent ambassador for modernity and progress in the UAE but her escape highlighted the stark contrast between the country’s publicly promoted image and reality.”

After her alleged capture, the Free Latifa campaign, led by human rights lawyer David Haigh, released a video in which the princess spoke at length about her escape attempt and mistreatment at the hands of her royal family.

Her alleged escape and recapture in 2018 was the subject of a BBC documentary last year, “Escape from Dubai: The Mystery of the Missing Princess.”(MORE: Details emerge on spending habits of woman who dropped $21 million at Harrods: Report)

Dubai’s Royal Court issued a statement rejecting the BBC’s reporting in December 2018, as well as that of other news organizations, saying that they had received reports that a ransom had been demanded for Latifa after she went missing, and that she is “safe in Dubai.”

Haigh told ABC News that Latifa was captured alongside five other individuals attempting to escape the kingdom, all of whom have been released from the UAE except the princess.

After her alleged escape attempt, Latifa was not seen again until December 2018, when she appeared back in the UAE in a photo op alongside Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland. Robinson was reportedly invited to see Latifa at that time by Princess Haya, according to Stirling.

After learning more facts about the return of Latifa to Dubai, Haya fled to the U.K., Stirling said, in the hopes it would be a safe haven as the court proceedings unfold.

“The jurisdiction of England is the safest place for any proceedings to take place and we do not expect the UAE to be able to exude any influence over British courts,” Stirling said. “It is important that the focus remains on the very real issue of Princess Haya’s safety, as well as that of her children who remain at great risk.”

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