After a British family court ruled that Dubai’s ruler had ordered the abduction of his two daughters, UK police said that they are now reviewing a probe into the disappearance of the elder daughter Sheikha Shamsa. The UK High Court of Justice’s Family Division, in a judgment published on March 5, said that Shamsa was abducted from the English city of Cambridge in August 2000.
Cambridgeshire police, which had carried the investigation into the disappearance, said that they had found “insufficient” evidence back then and did not find any concrete evidence after reviewing it in 2017. However, a spokesperson for the Cambridgeshire police said that aspects of the case will now be subject to review.
The court said that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Emir of Dubai, detained and ill-treated his younger daughter Sheikha Latifa. Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director, said in a statement that the ruling was a long-overdue step towards justice for Latifa. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid had insisted it as ‘private family matters’ but Maalouf opined that state-sanctioned abduction and inhuman treatment is not a family affair.
“Dubai and the UAE must now allow her to speak and travel freely, including seeking asylum abroad, if she wishes to do so,”
According to media reports, Princess Latifa took the help of her fitness trainer and friend Tiina Jauhiainen and planned the escape which is being dubbed as a plot from a movie. In a failed attempt to escape her father’s clutches, Latifa took the help of a friend and used car, dinghy, and jet skis to flee from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2018.
As per Jauhiainen’s testimony, they were headed for Goa with a hope to travel to the United States from there and seek asylum. However, they were allegedly caught by Indian coast guards and Latifa was taken off the boat by an Emirati officer. Judge Andrew McFarlane called Jauhiainen a “wholly impressive individual” and regarded the evidence provided by the Finnish woman as being of singular importance.
(With agency inputs)