Silks join campaign over missing Dubai princess

David Brown
July 9, 2019, The Times

Princess Latifa, left, was pictured last year with Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland

Two senior barristers have joined a legal campaign seeking the release of a Middle Eastern princess who was allegedly abducted on the orders of her father.

The disappearance of Princess Latifa al-Maktoum, the daughter of the ruler of Dubai, has been linked to the decision of her stepmother, Princess Haya bint al-Hussein, to seek sanctuary in London.

The United Nations working group on enforced disappearances is investigating allegations that Princess Latifa, 33, was seized by Indian and Dubai security forces off the coast of Goa while attempting to flee her homeland in March last year.

The case could cause diplomatic difficulties for Britain and concern for the Queen, who is close to both Princess Latifa’s father, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rassghid al-Maktoum, prime minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and her stepmother, Princess Haya, a half-sister of King Abdullah of Jordan.

Alun Jones, QC, an expert in international law who joined Princess Latifa’s legal team, said: “It is a matter of grave concern that Princess Latifa has suffered from abduction, mistreatment and arbitrary imprisonment, with no opposition or protest from the UK authorities.”

Mr Jones, who founded Great James Street chambers, asked: “Do we stand for the rule of law or not?”

Rodney Dixon, QC, an expert in human rights and international law at Temple Garden Chambers, said: “It is most concerning that Princess Latifa has still not been released and allowed to leave the UAE. Her fundamental human rights are being unjustifi