https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/insi ... re-father/
The inside story of the Dubai princess who fled from her billionaire father.
A few quotes from a long article in today's DT about this haven of justice and tranquility which attracts millions of whores, pimps, alcoholics, wife-beaters, criminals of all kinds and so on annually, all proudly carried by Emirates.
'We were taken back to Dubai. That was the last time I saw Latifa. She was being dragged off the boat, kicking and screaming, yelling that she was seeking political asylum. They ignored her. The whole situation was so unreal. I wish I’d said something, but I was paralysed. They threatened to shoot my brain out if I spoke. It was shocking. It was beyond my comprehension.’
Along with Jaubert, Tiina was taken to a national security prison, where she was kept in solitary confinement for several weeks. ‘ in a cell, which was freezing cold with the fluorescent lights always on. There was a hatch in the wall that they’d open to give me food,’ she says.
‘It was mental torture. I was sleep deprived and the guards told me I’d “stabbed the ruler of Dubai in the back”, so I’d get the death penalty, or a life sentence. They tried to make me do a false confession, saying I’d tried to cheat Latifa into escaping. Sometimes they’d get so angry I felt like they were about to hit me.’
Sheikh Mohammed, 70, is largely credited with turning Dubai into the global, glamorous city it is today. ......
Yet behind his public image as a progressive ruler of a forward-thinking country lies a more controversial side. Campaign group Human Rights Watch has called the UAE ‘hypocritical’, and says that any attempt to paint the government as tolerant ‘is laughable.’ In recent years, there have been a number of high-profile cases of people, including British citizen Matthew Hedges, being imprisoned and allegedly badly treated at the hands of the country’s security services.
The country’s laws are also some of the strictest in the world: people can be detained for free speech-related offences, and sodomy carries a 10-year prison sentence. The Emirates also enforces the law of male guardianship, where women can effectively only work with their husband’s permission, must have a lawful excuse if they refuse to have sex with their husband, and must grant full custody of her children to her husband if she wants to divorce him and remarry. Rape victims are also often ostracised for going public.
The strict oppression of women in the UAE appears to extend to the royal family itself. Each of the Sheikh’s wives has her own separate home, and they are not encouraged to mix with each other. In some ways, the expectations of them as royals mean they have even more restricted lives than local UAE women – Latifa has alleged she had no freedom to travel, work, or even have relationships.
Latifa had tried to escape once before, as a teenager, by riding into Oman on horseback. But after being captured at the border, she was imprisoned for three-and-a-half years, when she alleges she was tortured. ‘One person would hold her, and the other would cane her feet,’ says Tiina. ‘She was given no fresh clothes, toothbrush or anything to wash with.’
Her older sister’s story is even more harrowing. It appears Princess Shamsa tried to run away from her family’s Surrey estate back in 2000, when she was just 18, after being told she wasn’t allowed to go to university. But two months later, she was found in Cambridgeshire, and taken back to Dubai. It is now 20 years since Shamsa was last seen in public.
Tiina now hopes that Latifa’s story will move other Arab women to speak up about the way they are treated. ‘Latifa isn’t the only one who is suffering. There are many other women in similar situations, being oppressed because of inequality, not having the choice to study or work. She’s one of those women. It’s pretty normal over there for a female to be under house arrest for rebelling. And if Latifa as a princess is treated like this, imagine how they’re treated?
‘First Shamsa, then Latifa, and now Randa,’ says Haigh. ‘They all have similar stories. “I was abused, I had my daughter taken off me, they threatened me, they did this and that.” And these are the ones we know about. How many more are there that we don’t?
‘It’s about time we looked beyond the façade and glitz and glamour of Dubai, and questioned what’s really going on.’