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UN experts demand “concrete information” on Sheikha Latifa’s fate

GENEVA (20 April 2021) – UN human rights experts* today called on the Government of the United Arab Emirates to provide meaningful information on the fate of Sheikha Latifa Mohammed Al Maktoum, as well as assurances of her safety and well-being, without delay. Sheikha Latifa is the daughter of the Emir of Dubai and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

"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," said the experts.

Several independent experts appointed by the UN Human Rights Council said they were troubled by the allegations of human rights violations against Sheikha Latifa, and of the possible threat to her life.

"The statement issued by the Emirates authorities' merely indicating that she was being 'cared for at home' is not sufficient at this stage," the experts said.

Since Sheikha Latifa's reported abduction while attempting to flee the country in 2018, a number of UN experts have raised concerns with the Emirati Government about her alleged enforced disappearance and incommunicado detention, and the violation of her right, as a woman, to live a life free of discrimination and violence.

According to the information received, she continues to be deprived of liberty, with no access to the outside world. "Her continued incommunicado detention can have harmful physical and psychological consequences and may amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment," said the experts.

"Evidence of life and assurances regarding her well-being are urgently required," they said, calling for independent verification of the conditions under which she is being held, and for her immediate release.

ENDS

*The experts: Mr. Tae-Ung Baik (Chair-Rapporteur), Mr. Henrikas Mickevičius, (Vice Chair), Ms. Aua Balde, Mr. Bernard Duhaime and Mr. Luciano Hazan, Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances; Mr. Nils Melzer, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; Mr. Morris Tidball-Binz, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; Ms.Elizabeth Broderick (Chair), Ms.Melissa Upreti (Vice Chair), Ms . Dorothy Estrada Tanck, Ms. Ivana Radačić, and Ms . Meskerem Geset Techane, Working Group on discrimination against women and girls; and Ms. Dubravka Simonovic, Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences.

Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council's independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures' experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

For more information and media requests, please contact Mr. Ugo Cedrangolo (u cedrangolo@ohchr.org/+41 22 917 92 86)

For media enquiries regarding other UN independent experts, please contact Renato de Souza ( +41 22 928 9855 / rrosariodesouza@ohchr.org), Jeremy Laurence (+ 41 22 917 7578 / jlaurence@ohchr.org)

Follow news related to the UN's independent human rights experts on Twitter@UN_SPExperts.

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