- PRESS STATEMENT - Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers
Following the disappearance of Sheikha Latifa Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Hervé Jean Pierre Jaubert, in what can only be described as the most concerning of circumstances, Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers in London has been instructed to file an immediate complaint with the UN Special Procedures Branch, specifically the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Inhumane and Degrading Treatment and the UN Office of the High Commission for Human Rights requesting their urgent and immediate intervention.
Sheikha Latifa, is the daughter of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and was reported missing on 5 March 2018 along with a dual French-US national, Hervé Jean Pierre Jaubert and a third individual believed to be British/Irish.
Sheikha Latifa had made contact with ‘Detained in Dubai’ prior to this date, confirming that she had escaped the Emirate, reporting details of incarceration, abuse, kidnap of her sister and similarly for herself and fear for her life, and that recorded messages she had sent ought to be released in the event that it was that she hadn’t managed to escape.
The messages recorded show a calm and collected, although fearful, young women, who alleges that she has in effect been imprisoned by her father, subject to treatment that amounts to serious ill treatment, unable to move freely, having been unable to leave Dubai for any reason since 2000. The accounts set out in her recordings, and independently verified, appear to describe a system of system of abuse that require international intervention.
Further, she recounts how she is prevented from having her passport, that she is not allowed to travel anywhere without a driver designated by her family, and that her movements are monitored 24 hours a day.
In her emotional plea, she confirms “I have left the United Arab Emirates but I am not out of danger’.
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 they have referred the matter to the UK National Crime Agency and Interpol to investigate.
The situation, as alleged, is of the utmost concern, and once again brings the oppressive regime of the UAE into the spotlight.
Guernica is instructed to file an immediate Petitioner of Complaint with the UN Special Procedures and ask that they intervene with a view to securing the whereabouts of Sheikha Latifa.
Regardless of her parents, Sheikha Latifa, as an individual, has the right to go about the peaceful enjoyment of her life, and all of the evidence thus far presented suggests that she is being prevented from doing so.
It would appear to be too much of a coincidence, that upon her being reported missing, and the suggestion being that she had been abducted following her escape, her verified social media accounts were immediately shut down, and further, another member of the Royal Family, who shares the same name, has been heavily featured in the Press.
Radha Stirling, founder and CEO of Detained in Dubai Said “We are very grateful for the assistance of Guernica International Justice Chambers and we are hopeful that the United Nations will be able to intervene in what is a most distressing and concerning case. We have repeatedly attempted to contact the United Arab Emirates but have received no response whatsoever. We have the daughter of the Prime Minister of a country, that is a holiday hotspot for millions of women around the world, making very public and serious accusations against her father in a lengthy video. The silence of the UAE in this regard is deafening. The UAE needs to respond”.
David Haigh a British lawyer and partner at Detained in Dubai, himself a victim of Torture in the UAE currently pursuing a complaint against the UAE before the UN, said “We reached out to Toby Cadman, an English Barrister, when Sheikha Latifa first contacted us, for his advice on the appropriate steps to take to firstly verify her identity and then to assist her. Early on we were able to confirm her identity given that, coincidently she was a friend of my former assistant when I was in Dubai. Since her disappearance following a distress call we have had considerable third parties coming forward to confirm and evidence her identity.”
Guernica 37 is now undertaking a review of the available evidence and seeking to verify a number of facts presented. At the conclusion of this process, a Petition of Complaint will be filed as a matter of urgency.
* * * * *
Guernica37 International Justice Chambers in London, the non-profit organization Guernica Centre for International Justice in the United States and G37 Despacho Internacional in Madrid, form The Guernica Group. Our international team of lawyers specialize in International Criminal Law and strategic transnational litigation to obtain accountability for international crimes and human rights violations. The Guernica Group seeks to contribute to national processes of accountability by designing legal strategies in partnership with key actors in countries experiencing transitional processes after conflict or post-conflict situations.