Robinson defends visit to ‘abused’ Dubai princess

Peter O’Dwyer
February 19 2019, The Times

Mary Robinson said she was invited to Dubai by the princess’s family

Mary Robinson has said that she has no regrets over getting involved in the case of a Dubai princess who had tried to flee the United Arab Emirates.

The former president and UN high commissioner for human rights was criticised by human rights groups for travelling to Dubai in December to meet Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum, who tried to leave her family last year after claiming that she had suffered years of abuse.

Sheikha Latifa is the daughter of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and prime minister of the UAE. Following the meeting, Mrs Robinson described the 33-year-old princess as a “troubled young woman”.

Speaking after an event at Trinity College Dublin yesterday, she defended her decision to get involved, saying she “went to help a friend”. Asked whether she regretted visiting the princess, Mrs Robinson said she did not.

“I have spoken out before on human rights in the UAE. I haven’t changed my spots. I will speak out again where appropriate,” she said.

After the meeting with Sheikha Latifa, Mrs Robinson wrote a report for Michelle Bachelet, the UN h