Latifa stands for every person, especially every woman, who is held against their will when they have done nothing wrong

The Free Latifa campaign was established and is run by Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum’s best friend Tiina Jauhiainen with the help of the human rights lawyer David Haigh together with Latifa’s own cousin Marcus Essabri, others in Latifa’s family and many of her close friends.The campaign also benefits from the support of fromHuman Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Detained International, a not-for-profit legal advocacy non-government organisation (NGO), founded to assist people who have become victims of injustice and human rights violations in the United Arab Emirates and the wider Middle East.

Tiina Jauhiainen is a Finnish national who was working in Dubai, and got to know Latifa through capoeira, a martial art. The two became close friends, and when Latifa confided in Tiina that she wanted to escape, Tiina said she would help in whatever way she could. Tiina was with Latifa every step of the way across Dubai, Omanand eventually boarded the MS Nostromo to sail to India. When the boat was stormed by crack Emirati and Indian troops, Tiina was kidnapped with Latifa and taken to Dubai. The impact of the video Latifa had recorded before her escape probably contributed to the Dubai authorities releasing Tiina. Since her release in March 2018, Tiina has devoted her life to freeing Latifa.

David Haigh is a lawyer and human rights advocate who was catapulted to prominence when the Bahraini company he was working for took over Leeds United Football Club and he became managing director. After suffering grave injustices and torture in Dubai, in his own much publicised fight for justice he has devoted his working life to fighting for those suffering in Dubai and other areas of the Gulf.

Three leading lawyers have also been central to the campaign, in particular over the legal action at the United Nations: Alun Jones QC, Rodney Dixon QC and Toby Cadman.

There are various other people working for the Free Latifa campaign, some of whom do not wish to be identified as their safety might then be at risk. They are all appreciated.

Apart from liking Latifa as a person, our commitment to fighting for her freedom is based on what is at stake here: Latifa stands for every person, especially every woman, who is held against their will when they have done nothing wrong, and sought only to exercise their UN-recognised right of self-determination. We will continue this fight in the courts of law, and before governmental and international organisations such as the United Nations.

Latifa asked for our help and entrusted us with securing her freedom from the gilded cage in which her father, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, keeps her as an effective prisoner. The Free Latifa campaign has already been successful in forcing Dubai to reveal that it was state security forces who abducted Latifa in March 2018, and that she is at least alive.

We will continue the fight and will not let her down.

The Free Latifa Team