Mary Robinson Was Asked To Step In On The Princess Latifa Scandal For Logical Reasons
After months of international speculation on the whereabouts of Dubai's princess, HH Sheikha Latifa (the daughter of the Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum), former Irish president, Mary Robinson was asked to visit her, and give a statement on her wellbeing.
Robinson confirmed in an interview, that she was invited to visit the princess, by wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed, HRH Princess Haya, to inspect Latifa's conditions and check her wellbeing.
Pictures of the two meeting were distributed to press, showing Latifa alive and safe.
On 21st December 2018, the UAE Mission in Geneva delivered a communique regarding H.H. Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum to the Office of Special Procedures at the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The communique responds to and rebuts false allegations... pic.twitter.com/VKplHXmWat— Lovin Dubai (@lovindubai) December 24, 2018
Robinson is the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
She's also a friend of HRH Princess Haya's.
Robinson said she got a personal call to request the visit, following the rumours that were circulating internationally.
HRH Princess Haya requested Robinson's presence in Dubai, to observe, and intervene into what is becoming a huge international issue regarding a family matter.
Some media has criticised that Mary Robinson's flight was paid-for by Dubai members, however, given it was HRH Princess Haya's request that she come, it's understandable that the flight was paid for by the Al Maktoum family.
The families of the UAE Rulers are notoriously private, for many reasons. One of which is security and safety of the families. So it makes sense that the Dubai royals would not be keen on inviting a media circus into their fold.
It's also someone without an agenda, that can impartially observe Latifa's wellbeing, without any motive.
As a former president of Ireland, and a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Robinson is well qualified to observe if Latifa is being detained against her will, or any of her human rights violated.
She's spent five years as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as being the chairperson for the Institute for Human Rights and Business, and received an Amnesty International award as an Ambassador of Conscience in 2004.
Robinson visited the family home and met with Sheikha Latifa, and was pictured doing so
She then released a statement that said: “It was clear to me that Princess Haya had particular concern for the welfare of Sheikha Latifa whom she described as troubled and quite vulnerable. During my time with her, Sheikha Latifa presented as a very likeable young woman with a wide range of interests, but her vulnerability was apparent.”
Following her visit, Robinson was criticised by international media groups for becoming involved
For accepting the free flight, for visiting the Sheikha and for making a statement on her wellbeing.
Robinson responded with a statement: “I am dismayed at some of the media comments on my visit and I would like to say I undertook the visit and made an assessment, not a judgement, based on personal witness, in good faith and to the best of my ability."
She has also said in an interview, that she has spoken with UN human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet and Human Rights Watch executive director, Ken Roth about her findings
Mary Robinson said that Latifa is a 'troubled young woman' and is receiving treatment - it is not the public's place to speculate on a woman's mental health state, and it's something needs to be respected.
Robinson has a relationship with these bodies, and experience in the matters at hand, so is a prime candidate for a personal visit to check up on Princess Latifa.
Robinson said in the BBC interview:
"The dilemma was that Latifa is vulnerable, she's troubled. She made a video that she now regrets and she planned an escape, or what was part of a plan of escape.
"I had lunch with her. She's a very likeable young woman but clearly troubled, clearly needs the medical care that she is receiving."