Press Statement: UN Working Group Transmits Urgent Communication to UAE and India

Having been instructed following the unlawful abduction, arbitrary detention and torture of Sheikha Latifa Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Hervé Jean Pierre Jaubert, and Tiina Jauhiainen, Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers filed an urgent complaint with the UN Special Procedures Branch, specifically the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Inhumane and Degrading Treatment and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights requesting their urgent and immediate intervention.

The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance (UN WGEID) has transmitted the urgent communication, filed by Guernica 37 IJC, to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Republic of India in order to give provide them the opportunity to respond to the allegations concerning their involvement in Sheikha Latifa’s enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention and to provide justification for a joint-military operation that culminated in an unprovoked attack on a US-flagged yacht in international waters, the unlawful abduction, arbitrary detention and ill-treatment of all those persons on the US-flagged yacht, Nostromo.

Sheikha Latifa, is a Dubai princess – being the daughter of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE. She was reported missing on 5 March 2018 along with a dual French-US national, Hervé Jean Pierre Jaubert, and a third person, Ms. Tiina Jauhiainen, a long-time friend of Sheikha Latifa. 

Prior to her disappearance Sheikha Latifa had made contact with ‘Detained in Dubai’, an NGO assisting individuals who are victims of injustice in the UAE and wider Gulf region, confirming that she had escaped from the UAE. In her recorded messages, Sheikha Latifa described the details of her detention in the UAE, her abuse, what amounted to the kidnapping of her and her sister, and the fact that she feared for her life. She instructed that her messages ought to be publicly released in the event that she hadn’t managed to flee the UAE for the world to learn about her ordeal suffered at the hands of what is clearly an autocratic and controlling regime.
The messages clearly show a calm, although frightened, young lady alleging that she has been imprisoned by her father, subjected to serious ill-treatment, unable to move freely within Dubai, always being accompanied by State Security officials, and her movements being monitored 24 hours per day. Moreover, she stated that she was not allowed to have her own passport and leave Dubai since 2000.

In her emotional plea, she states “I have left the United Arab Emirates but I am not out of danger’. Sheikha Latifa’s account from her recordings, recordings that have been independently verified, appears to describe a system of abuse that required international intervention.

In her last call to Ms. Radha Stirling, founder of Detained in Dubai, Sheikha Latifa “appeared to be highly distressed and in a state of panic.”  She said“Radha please help me, there are men outside.  I heard gunshots”.

The UK Metropolitan Police have confirmed that they have referred the matter to the UK National Crime Agency and Interpol to investigate. The Princess’ situation, as alleged, is of the highest concern, and once again brings the autocratic regime of the UAE, a state that operates under a veil of legitimacy whilst continuously and consistently violating human rights and fundamental freedoms, into the spotlight.

Having conducted a review of all available evidence and