Translated and edited by: Committee for Justice
Geneva, April 20, 2021
United Nations human rights experts have called on the government of the United Arab Emirates to provide prompt information on the fate of Sheikha Latifa Muhammad Al Maktoum, daughter of the Emir of Dubai and Prime Minister of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, as well as assurances of her safety.
Lack of meaningful information about her condition:
The experts said in a media statement published by the Media Center of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on 20 April: “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 experts also said they were “troubled” by the allegations of human rights violations against Sheikha Latifa and the potential threat to her life, adding: “The statement issued by the Emirates authorities’ merely indicating that she was being ‘cared for at home’ is not sufficient at this stage.”
Demands for her immediate release:
Since the reported kidnapping of Sheikha Latifa while trying to flee the country in 2018, a number of United Nations experts have raised concerns with the Emirati government about her alleged enforced disappearance, incommunicado detention, and the violation of her right as a woman to live a life free from discrimination and violence.
According to the information received, Sheikha Latifa is still deprived of freedom and cannot communicate with the outside world, and the experts explained that “her continued incommunicado detention could have harmful physical and psychological consequences, and may amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”
They added that “evidence of her life and assurances about her safety are urgently needed,” calling for independent verification of the reasons and conditions of her detention, and her immediate release.