Thursday, October 21, 2021

Wife of Dubai ruler flees to Germany over torture, abuse

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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Several reports suggest Dubai’s Princess Haya has fled to Germany, escaping the abuse of her husband Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, whose daughter Latifa attempted to flee last year.

Multiple reports are being investigated that Princess Haya, the wife of Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has fled the Emirates and sought asylum in Germany, legal advocacy group Detained in Dubai said on Friday.

The group’s CEO, Radha Stirling, said they have received reports from sources close to the Jordanian and Emirati governments, that indicate the Emirati princess has escaped to Germany.

“We cannot comment on the veracity of these reports, but such an event would clearly represent a powerful indictment against the UAE and against Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid personally, as well as have potentially dramatic repercussions on the relationships between the countries involved,” Stirling said in a statement.

The princess fled with her son Zayed, 7, and daughter Al Jalila, 11, and are allegedly seeking to eventually move to London, according to The Daily Beast.

Rumours of Haya’s escape were first aired by website Emirates Leaks on June 23, which alleged she fled with the help of a German diplomat.

German authorities have not confirmed any of the claims.

Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, 45, is the daughter of Jordan’s late king and the sister of current King Abdullah. She married into the Al Maktoum dynasty in 2004.

Sheikh Mohammed is ruler of Dubai and prime minister of the UAE, as well as being among the world’s wealthiest individuals.

Stirling said the rumours raise “serious questions” about what may have caused her to flee, adding it indicates her life was in danger.

Sheikh Mohammed’s daughter, Latifa, allegedly attempted to flee the kingdom in a high-profile saga in April 2018, after releasing a video detailing years of horrific abuse and torture she suffered at the hands of her father and the Emirati authorities.

Latifa’s friends and supporters say commandos stormed a boat she was using to flee to India.

Latifa has been seen only once since, in a photo with former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson who visited the Al Maktoum family residence in December 2018, which critics called a PR stunt.

Princess Haya also appeared in the photo op, which Stirling says “damaged [her] standing in the human rights community”.

“While we cannot speculate, Haya undoubtedly has witnessed, or experienced firsthand, the types of mistreatment alleged by Latifa, and decided to get out,” Stirling added.

She also said that strong economic ties between UAE and Jordan may have prevented Haya from fleeing to her home country, which would have put pressure on her brother to send her back to the UAE.

Various dispatches over recent years point to the extent of torture and human rights abuse in the wealthy Gulf kingdom.

Women from neighbouring Saudi Arabia have been making high-profile appeals for asylum in recent months, the latest being sisters Dua and Dalal who fled to Turkey earlier this month after escaping alleged rape, forced marriage and abuse from their relatives.


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