Friday, July 19

Dubai princess in UK in fear of life



Princess Haya, a wife of the ruler of Dubai, is believed to have fled the UAE for London after discovering disturbing facts about the mysterious return of one of his daughters who tried to escape.

Princess Haya Bint al-Hussein, the British-educated and Jordanian-born sixth wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, initially travelled to Germany to seek asylum but is now understood to be staying in her £85m townhouse in Kensington Palace Gardens.

Until now it was not known why she fled, with the only clue a poem posted by billionaire Sheikh Mohammed, 69, on Instagram accusing an unidentified woman of treachery and betrayal.

However, Princess Haya, is thought to have become aware of worrying details involving her step-daughter Princess Latifa, according to the BBC.

Princess Latifa, one of Sheikh Mohammed’s 23 children by different wives, attempted a daring escape from the United Arab Emirates in February 2018 with the help of a French former spy and a rented yacht, saying she had been abused and held prisoner by her father.

However, she was dragged from the yacht by UAE special forces in the Indian Ocean.

She was not seen or heard from for 10 months, until she appeared in pictures released by the UAE foreign ministry, which said she was safe and “happy” to be home.

Princess Haya at first defended her husband over the incident, but later had cause to become suspicious after learning new facts and coming under increasing hostility and pressure from members of her husband’s extended family, the BBC reported.

Princess Haya, the half-sister of King Abdullah, is reported to be in fear that she too will be abducted and forced to return to the UAE.

The Foreign Office is understood to regard the matter as a private dispute.

The UK, a trading partner and ally of both the UAE and Jordan, will face a headache in deciding whether to offer Princess Haya asylum or allow her deportation.

I have no doubt that Princess Haya has every reason to fear the consequences if she were to be sent back to Dubai, said Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai. “She surely knows, as Latifa knew, that asylum provides her the only safe route out of the royal palace.

The bias and discrimination women in the Gulf generally suffer is only amplified when they are members of the ruling family and come into conflict with the men in their lives, because they have even less recourse than an average woman, she said.

The UAE is a male-dominated society, and Princess Haya’s husband, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, wields absolute power over Dubai. If she was abused, she could not go to the police; if she wanted a divorce, she could not go to the courts.

Princess Haya, in all likelihood, is both a victim and a witness; and thus we hope she will remain safe, and that she will also cooperate with international authorities to expose the alleged abuses going on behind the doors of the Dubai Royal Palace.