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Detained in Dubai to hold press conference on the case of Latifa Al Maktoum and attack on US yacht

Radha Stirling said today in a statement: Detained in Dubai will be holding a press conference on Thursday, April 12th. I, Toby Cadman, Hervé Jaubert, and Tiina Jauhiaien and her family will address the media to update the public regarding the ongoing issues surrounding the escape and subsequent capture of Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum, daughter of the ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister of the UAE Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Latifa escaped the UAE along with Jauhiaien and Jaubert in late February aboard Jaubert’s yacht Nostromo, fleeing what she described as ‘years of abuse’ at the hands of her father.

On March 4th 2018, the United Arab Emirates and the Indian Coast Guard raided the American flagged yacht Nostromo in international waters, commandeered the boat, looted it, and violently apprehended all those on board, including an American citizen, a Finnish citizen, three Filipino crew members, and Sheikha Latifa (all of whom were unarmed), and took them back to the UAE against their will where they were each kept in solitary confinement and interrogated for approximately 2 weeks. Hervé Jaubert, Tiina Jauhiaien and the crew of Nostromo were eventually released without charge, with the warning that they must never reveal publicly anything that had occurred.

The whereabouts of Sheikha Latifa remain unknown and we do not know if she is alive or dead. The fact that Latifa herself said that the UAE ‘wanted her dead’ intensifies the urgency of finding her and securing her freedom.

The actions of the UAE and India against Nostromo and those on board violated a whole host of laws and treaties to which both countries are obligated, and the ramifications from this act of aggression are as massive as they are disturbing. Furthermore, Sheikha Latifa leveled a series of extremely serious allegations against her father in a video she recorded before her escape, all of which merit a criminal investigation.

Before her capture, Sheikha Latifa instructed Detained in Dubai to act on her behalf, and we have taken a number of steps to secure her freedom and safety. Aside from filing a missing persons report in multiple jurisdictions, raising the issue of her disappearance with UAE authorities and foreign governments, we have submitted a complaint to the United Nations Special Procedures Branch, specifically the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Inhumane and Degrading Treatment and the UN Office of the High Commission for Human Rights requesting their urgent and immediate intervention, and we expect a response soon.

Last Friday Christian Elombo was arrested in Luxembourg after having been reported to Interpol by the UAE on charges of “kidnapping” because he acted as Latifa’s driver inside Oman when she fled the Emirates. We were concerned that Hervé and Tiina might have been similarly reported to Interpol by the UAE, which just recently contributed $50 million dollars to that organisation, and has a history of misusing it to persecute the UAE’s perceived enemies; but we are happy to report that both Hervé and Tiina have arrived safely in London, and will be present for Thursday’s conference.

As Detained in Dubai is the sole legal representative for Latifa and all those involved with her escape, we will discuss on Thursday the further steps we are taking to achieve justice in this case, including initiating legal actions, both civil and criminal, in multiple jurisdictions. We will also discuss our pending actions in response to the illegal raid on Nostromo and the abductions of those on board. The press conference will be followed by a question and answer session.

“Public interest and concern over the fate of Sheikha Latifa has been growing steadily on social media” said Detained in Dubai partner Shahid Bolsen, “until now, mainstream media has seemed reluctant to cover the story, but it is getting bigger every day, and the repercussions of the UAE’s military aggression against Nostromo cannot responsibly be ignored.”

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