Mary Robinson’s friend Princess Haya seeks asylum

Mark Tighe
June 30, 2019, The Sunday Times

Human rights campaigners call on Princess Haya to speak out on her stepdaughter Latifa’s fate in Dubai

Princess Haya is reported to have left her husband of 15 years, Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, and to have sought political asylum in Germany (MARK CUTHBERT)

Human-rights campaigners who have supported Princess Latifa of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have urged Princess Haya, her stepmother, to speak out about conditions in Dubai after she reportedly fled to Germany.

Princess Haya, a long-time friend of Mary Robinson, the former Irish president, is reported to have left Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, her husband and the prime minister of the UAE, and sought political asylum in Germany.

In January, Haya, who worked in stud farms in Ireland in the 1990s, spoke on RTE Radio defending the way her stepdaughter, Latifa, was being treated in Dubai. This followed Latifa’s attempt to escape from the UAE in a yacht, which was foiled by armed forces.

Haya arranged for Robinson to fly to Dubai last December and to be photographed with a vacant-looking Latifa at a private meal, to provide the first public evidence that Latifa was still alive. She had insisted her stepdaughter’s welfare was a private family matter.

Haya, daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan, is one of six wives of Dubai’s ruler, who has over 30 children.