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Human Rights Watch asks Dubai’s ruler about runaway daughter

May 5, 2018
This undated image from video provided by Detained in Dubai, a London-based for-hire advocacy group long critical of the United Arab Emirates, shows Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum, a daughter of Dubai's ruler, in a 40-minute video in which she says she's planning on fleeing the country in Dubai, UAE. The former spy Herve Jaubert said he tried to help her flee the country in a cloak-and-dagger escape by sea in March 2018, but was thwarted when commandos intercepted their sailboat in the Arabian Sea. (Detained in Dubai via AP)
This undated image from video provided by Detained in Dubai, a London-based for-hire advocacy group long critical of the United Arab Emirates, shows Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum, a daughter of Dubai's ruler, in a 40-minute video in which she says she's planning on fleeing the country in Dubai, UAE. The former spy Herve Jaubert said he tried to help her flee the country in a cloak-and-dagger escape by sea in March 2018, but was thwarted when commandos intercepted their sailboat in the Arabian Sea. (Detained in Dubai via AP)

Human Rights Watch on Saturday asked Dubai’s ruling sheikh to reveal the whereabouts of his daughter after a French ex-spy and others say she fled the emirate, only to be arrested off the coast of India.

A statement by the organization marks the latest twist in the cloak-and-dagger drama surrounding the disappearance of Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum, who friends believe has been returned to Dubai after fleeing in late February. She was detained March 4 in a seaborne raid, witnesses said.

Sheikha Latifa’s father is Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai’s ruler and the United Arab Emirates’ vice president and prime minister.

“Failure to disclose the whereabouts and status of the princess could qualify as an enforced disappearance, given the evidence suggesting that she was last seen as UAE authorities were detaining her,” Human Rights Watch said.

Dubai has declined to comment publicly about Sheikha Latifa since The Associated Press reported in April on her disappearance . The government’s Dubai Media Office offered no immediate comment Saturday.

“UAE authorities should immediately reveal the whereabouts of Sheikha Latifa, confirm her status and allow her contact with the outside world,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Human Rights Watch’s Middle East director.

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