‘Her Friends Still in Dubai Said They Are Too Frightened To Speak’


Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum, a daughter of Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, meets Mary Robinson in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on December 15, 2018.

Anything good in The New York Times?


Via The New York Times:

On Christmas Eve, Dubai released the first public photos of Sheikha Latifa since her disappearance. They showed her sitting with Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, who confirmed that she had met the sheikha at her family’s request.

Ms. Robinson said Sheikha Latifa was safe with her family, but said she was receiving psychiatric care, calling her a “troubled young woman” with a “serious medical condition.”

“This is a family matter now,” Ms. Robinson said.

The sheikha’s advocates were taken aback that a respected human rights crusader had seemingly embraced Dubai’s official line. They disputed that she had a psychiatric condition, apart from any she might have developed because of imprisonment or drugging.

“I know 100 percent for sure that she doesn’t need mental care,” Ms. Martinengo said. “Maybe now, after all these treatments, but not before. How can you think that a person who’s been in prison for nine months wouldn’t seem troubled?”

Friends also found Sheikha Latifa’s appearance in the photos — slightly dazed, her eyes missing the camera — concerning.

With negative attention thickening around her, Ms. Robinson issued a statement saying that she had made her assessment “in good faith and to the best of my ability,” adding that the sheikha’s “vulnerability was apparent.”

By mid-January, a lawyer who had been working with activists left the sheikha’s case without explanation. Several friends still in Dubai said they were too frightened to speak, while Mr. Jaubert abruptly stopped responding to requests to be interviewed for this article.

Sheikha Latifa had little doubt about what would happen to her.

“If you are watching this video, it’s not such a good thing,” she said in her video. “Either I’m dead, or I’m in a very, very, very bad situation.”

A Princess Vanishes. A Video Offers Alarming Clues (New York Times)

Previously: Oh, Mary

Pic: United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation via AP

Thanks Eoin

15 thoughts on “‘Her Friends Still in Dubai Said They Are Too Frightened To Speak’

  1. postmanpat

    Look, I know big business is so money with UAE these days, but the average person should not have any time for these people and should avoid the country at all costs. The human rights abuses are as long as that monstrosity skyscraper they have. I wince when I see advertisements and TV phone in competitions to win a family holiday to glammed up UAE. There is a think twice campaign online that clues people in on the monstrous stuff that goes on over there. If, say you won a literary or artistic award where the ceremony is being held in Abu Dhabi or Dubai, you would not go, in protest. Then again you have the weak counter augment that going would be good for diplomacy and encouraging change. But come on, who are they kidding? They just want the sun holiday. They don’t give a toss bout abused Indian or Kuwaiti migrant workers.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_the_United_Arab_Emirates

  2. Ian-O

    UAE, Bahrain, Qata, ‘Saudi’ Arabia – all places I wouldn’t set foot in in their current states.

    The amount of people I know who went to the likes of Dubai or Abu Dhabi and said never again.

    1. Junkface

      Me too, I wouldn’t go near any of them, or any Islamic country which practices Wahhabism within Sunni. Its the most extreme and intolerant and the toughest form of Islam on women especially. Gay men frequently executed, revenge rapes in family disputes. Probably the closest thing to the Middle Ages anywhere on earth right now. Islam needs to be modernised and reformed. Plus their displays of wealth in their cities architecture and malls are tacky and tasteless in the extreme.

  3. Mountain Talk

    Good job Broadsheet. Glad you guys are highlighting this story. Read the NY piece yesterday. Plus saw the video for the first time. Yeah, who are going to believe! A troubled women, who claims imprisonment, torture, no freedom, now looks drugged. Or a father with 6 wives. In a country were basic female rights simply don’t exist. The big question is.. how has Mary Robinson been hoodwinked into thinking these ppl are “Friends”. Does she not see the glaring self-interest of these (backward ass male-dominated) countries placating a Human Rights advocate. Ms Robinson it’s not “complicated”. Its simple. Your friends w/ the “Ruler” of Dubai. A Ruler, what’s that? A Dictator, an Autocrat, a Theocrat, or is it a King. None of these things sound like healthy 21st century things.

  4. Eoin

    “And as mob boss Daniel Kinahan and his gang continue to remain in exile in Dubai, Assistant Commissioner O’Driscoll also emphasised the gardai’s crucial work with its law enforcement partners abroad.” said The Sun last month

    What I don’t get is, Islam is supposed to be tough, in the auld choppy-choppy way, on drug trafficking yet the Maktoums allow the Kinahan organised crime group to live the life of Reilly in Dubai while they cause mayhem and heartbreak on Irish streets.

  5. Johnny

    There’s something about Mary…

    ‘The Chancellor is the Head of the University and presides at meetings of the University Senate, including important ceremonial occasions such as commencement ceremonies, when degrees of the University of Dublin are awarded.’

    Do the right thing,Mary resign before the board forces you out-as if-this is Ireland,carry on Mary.

    1. Mountain Talk

      wow @Johnny (via your tcd.ie link) “United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights+Chancellor is Dr Mary Robinson”. Yeah could someone do one of those New Yorker Magazine illustrations of Mary w/ the six wives at lunch. Then caption it : Complicated Friends.

      1. Johnny

        I’d take a knee rather than have my degree or doctorate besmirched by Mary granting it,she’s displayed horrendous judgement here,there were also rumors of suspicious donations and poor governance at her foundation, as soon as there was mere hint of any scrutiny,she announced its immediate closing !
        The Phoenix had a great investigative piece on the foundation recently.
        Surprised the ‘woke’ trinners orts students not protesting,looks like she cancelled this appearance,did she return the donation/fee?

        ‘Ireland’s former president, Mary Robinson, has confirmed she will not attend a Dubai literary festival in response to a call from academics and authors for the United Arab Emirates to release detained human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor.

        Robinson, who also served as a United Nations human rights commissioner, said on Monday that she would not attend the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, set to take place from 1-9 March in Dubai.‘


        1. Mountain Talk

          Yes totally agreeded. I’d add, the story obviously isn’t how evil the named country is. That’s as plane as day. It’s this situation. Is she confused. Again hood-winked etc. Essentially she’s a good person, but Jesus, come on…… A bit clarity. Stand back. We know all the difference between “have to do business with” and then friends. Plus I mean thats what any system does. It’s self-interest. Trinity + World Human Rights commissioner. Scientology + bagging the biggest actor on the Planet. Dubai (amoungst other things) + Arts washing w/ the biggest Museums on the planet. Lovue, Tate. Don’t know if you watch DemocracyNow. It’s gonna be a bit difficult for Amy Goodman.

  6. Lilly

    This is a haunting case, I often think about Latifa and hope she gets out, sanity intact. Wild horses wouldn’t drag me to Dubai. All those Irish nurses and teachers who go there to work should think twice IMO. As for Mary Robinson, the less said, the better.

    1. Mountain Talk

      Mary Robinson is the story. It’d be like Nazi Germany and suddenly the Dalai Lama is hanging out with Goring. Proclaiming the situation is complicated. That Gorings illegitimate jewish daughter is deeply troubled. But getting help.

  7. bisted

    …there seem to be no depths that the labour party won’t stoop too…it comes as no surprise these days to hear the latest trough snorkeling they indulge in…hopefully, the next election will bring about their final nail…

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