TWO London-based eminent and high-powered QC’s have joined the growing global campaign to fight for the release of imprisoned Princess Latifa Al Maktoum, it was announced today (Monday)
Leading human rights lawyer Alun Jones QC, the founder of Great James Street chambers, is an expert in international crime as well as extradition and Rodney Dixon QC of Temple Garden Chambers, who is renowned for his work in human rights and international law.
They will work closely with David Haigh and Tiina Jauhiainen as part of the Free Latifa campaign. Princess Latifa has been held in Dubai on the orders of her father, the ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Maktoum since she was forcibly kidnapped on 4th March 2018.
They will explore all legal options through the UN and international bodies, as well as using their expertise in international jurisdictions to highlight the abusive regime and secure the freedom of Princess Latifa, aged 33.
The UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances has taken up the case and will be urged to issue its findings and recommendations to the UAE as soon as possible. The UN Special Rapporteurs and other bodies will also be petitioned to intervene on behalf of Princess Latifa to get access to her and secure her safe release.
Her plight has been thrust into the headlines in the last week following the news that her step-mother Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein has left the Dubai ruler to seek asylum and launch divorce proceedings in London, where she is seeking to prevent their children being returned to Dubai.
David Haigh, of the Free Latifa campaign and a human rights lawyer appointed by Sheikha Latifa, commented: “We are delighted to have the support of lawyers of such reputation and stature as Alun and Rodney. The combination of their experience, innovation and their expertise in this field makes them uniquely placed to support us and achieve freedom for brave Latifa.”
Tiina Jauhiainen, a close friend and confidante of Princess Latifa, who was kidnapped and forcibly taken back to the UAE alongside Latifa, said: “We are very privileged to have the support of people of the caliber of Alun and Rodney and their wise counsel makes me feel even more confident that we will eventually secure the freedom of my dear friend Latifa.”
Alun Jones said today: “It is a matter of grave concern that Princess Latifa has suffered from abduction, mistreatment and arbitrary imprisonment, with no opposition or protest from the UK authorities. Do we stand for the rule of law or not? “
Rodney Dixon said: “It is most concerning that Princess Latifa has still not been released and allowed to leave the UAE. Her fundamental human rights are being unjustifiably restricted and abused. The international community can no longer stand by.
“David and Tiina have worked tirelessly for more than a year to protect her, and have themselves been needlessly attacked and smeared for doing so. We will pursue all legal avenues on behalf of Princess Latifa to resolve this situation.
“We are petitioning the UN Working Groups on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances and on Arbitrary Detention and other bodies to get access to her without delay and to ensure that she is released unharmed.”