UN rights experts call for release of Dubai ruler’s daughter

Published April 21, 2021
The daughter of Dubai's ruler, Sheikha Latifa, says she is being held captive and fears for her life after a foiled attempt to flee the emirate. — Screengrab from Reuters video/File
The daughter of Dubai's ruler, Sheikha Latifa, says she is being held captive and fears for her life after a foiled attempt to flee the emirate. — Screengrab from Reuters video/File

GENEVA: UN experts on Tuesday demanded that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) provide information about a daughter of Dubai’s ruler and release her, two months after the BBC aired a video it said was of Princess Latifa describing herself as a hostage in a villa.

The UAE said on Feb 19 that Sheikha Latifa was being cared for at home, after the UN human rights office headed by Michelle Bachelet asked it for proof that she is alive amid growing international concern about her fate.

We are alarmed that, following the public release in February of footage in which Sheikha Latifa reported being deprived of her liberty against her will, and the subsequent official request for further information on her situation, no concrete information has been provided by the authorities, the independent UN human rights experts said in joint statement.

The statement issued by the Emirates authorities merely indicating that she was being cared for at home is not sufficient at this stage, added the experts, who include the UN investigators on torture and on violence against women.

The joint statement said the experts called “for independent verification of the conditions under which she is being held, and for her immediate release.”

A spokeswoman for Bachelet’s office said earlier this month it had not received a requested “proof of life” for Sheikha Latifa from the United Arab Emirates.

Senior UN officials sought a meeting with the UAE ambassador in Geneva about Latifa, which in principle has been agreed, the spokeswoman said at the time.

Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2021

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