Following the disappearance of Sheikha Latifa Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Jean Pierre Hervé Jaubert, in what can only be described as the most concerning of circumstances, Detained in Dubai (as per the wishes of the parties before their disappearance), has instructed Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers in London to file an immediate complaint with the UN 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.
Sheikha Latifa made an SOS call to Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai, reporting gunshots while onboard a US registered yacht off the coast of India. It is believed she and her companions were kidnapped in what amounts to a serious breach of international laws. A video made by Sheikha Latifa outlines additional potential crimes, allegedly perpetrated by those whom she was fleeing.
Ms Stirling issued a statement “On Sunday the 4th of March 2018, I received a harrowing call from Sheikha Latifa, reporting men outside and gunshots. She was in a panicked state and pleading for help 'Radha, please help me, please help me. There are men outside. I heard gunshots'.
Sheikha Latifa disclosed to me her claims in respect of human rights violations, including unlawful imprisonment, torture and abuse.
Contact was terminated suddenly and permanently with Hervé and Latifa. Despite enquiries, the whereabouts and status of the parties remains undisclosed. It is rumoured that she, at least, has been abducted and returned to the UAE against her will.
Before the incident, I was in contact with both parties, who instructed me to assist them, especially in the event of their disappearance and that is what I am doing. We owe a duty of care to both parties to act, particularly when they are no longer able to act for themselves. Sheikha Latifa disclosed to me her claims in respect of human rights violations, including unlawful imprisonment, torture and abuse, perpetrated against her and her elder sister, as well as other serious crimes against others whom she identified; carried out under the authority of her father.
We have instructed Toby Cadman of Guernica Chambers, who specialises in the field of war crimes, human rights, terrorism and extradition, to submit an application to the United Nations on behalf of Sheikha Latifa and Hervé Jaubert.
Our ambition is to see the safe release of both Hervé & Latifa and we welcome offers of assistance in this effort.”
A Detained in Dubai employee later added on behalf of Stirling “We approached Toby Cadman, an English Barrister, for his advice on the appropriate steps to take to firstly verify her identity and then to assist her. Early on we were able to confirm her identity. Since her disappearance following a distress call, we have had considerable third parties coming forward to confirm and evidence her identity.”
British NGO Detained in Dubai received a plea for emergency assistance from American/French national Hervé Jaubert, famous for his book “Escape from Dubai”.
Hervé and a young woman who claimed to be a daughter of the ruler of Dubai, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, made contact with Detained in Dubai to seek assistance. They said that they were “escaping” the United Arab Emirates to seek refuge in the United States, following the woman’s claims of “imprisonment, torture and abuse”, the details of which are described in a YouTube video that was sent to a US attorney for publication in the event of her disappearance or death. Their identities have been confirmed by a number of parties.
Herve advised Detained in Dubai that he was helping the woman “escape Dubai” on board a US registered vessel. They were approaching India on Sunday the 4th of March 2018 and were within 50 miles as of 11:00 GMT, with the plan to disembark and fly to the US from Mumbai. A distress call was made seven hours later from Sheikha Latifa to Radha Stirling, then contact ceased immediately and permanently.
An American man, an Emirati woman and a third woman, believed to be British, have all been reported as missing. Since then, a prominent British barrister, Harpreet Singh Giani who is also an Indian advocate, has confirmed from his sources within the Indian intelligence community that Sheikha Latifa is alive and that she has been “taken back to Dubai”. Mr Giani was unable to comment whether there was any military involvement by either country. We are therefore calling on an investigation into an incident that potentially involves the kidnapping of three parties who are likely to have been in Indian territorial waters. There have been further reports that an Electronic Warfare Aircraft was in the vicinity, a craft designed to interrupt communication platforms which would have required India’s cooperation.
Radha Stirling, Detained in Dubai’s CEO, who was instructed to assist by the missing persons, said “We call on relevant international authorities to investigate the disappearance of US National Hervé Jaubert, Emirati National Sheikha Latifa and her British friend. No questions as to the whereabouts of the missing persons have been answered and no responses provided by the United Arab Emirates government. We are gravely concerned for the safety of all three parties and thank all of those who have come forth with information."
Detained in Dubai was contacted by a woman who identified herself as a Sheikha Latifa Mohammed Al Maktoum the daughter of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and a man who identified himself as Jean Pierre Hervé Jaubert, who was known to Detained in Dubai’s CEO, Radha Stirling. Immediately upon initial contact, Detained in Dubai commenced steps to verify the identity of the parties and the claims made. An appointed British Solicitor was able to contact various third parties who confirmed the identity of Sheikha Latifa. During this process there was regular and lengthy contact between the missing persons and Detained in Dubai.
On Sunday the 4th of March, Ms Stirling was advised by Hervé at 11:00 GMT that the vessel was within 50 miles of India and that they intended to disembark. At 18:24 GMT, Ms. Stirling received a distress message, followed by a distress call from the woman who appeared in a panicked and frightened state. She stated "Radha, please help. There are men outside. I hear gunshots and I am hiding with my friend".
Following the distress call, communication with all of the missing persons ceased. Having had communication with the missing person previously, and following the distress call, Detained in Dubai alerted the relevant authorities. Detained in Dubai further sought the assistance of leading human rights Barristers and Queen's Counsel together with the assistance of several leading human rights charities with which Detained in Dubai works.
Detained in Dubai filed a police report with the Metropolitan police, the UAE Embassy in the UK, the United States State Department and the Coast Guard of India. The only authority who has responded is the United Kingdom who have forwarded the report to the National Crime Agency and Interpol for investigation.
Since the incident, parties who had known the missing persons have confirmed their identity and last known location. Close friends have confirmed that the woman in the video was indeed Sheikha Latifa. The woman explained that there are three Sheikha Latifa’s and that she was the middle one known for sky diving, with the instagram account latifa_1.
Two US attorneys confirmed that they were aware of the situation and had been contacted by American and French national and Florida resident Hervé Jaubert, a client of theirs, who was also known to them. They have since prepared a missing persons report.
The @MailOnline broke the news on Friday and showed part of a video where the woman explains some of the reasons for her escape attempt. The video was provided to a US attorney by Latifa for distribution in the event of her death or disappearance. The video extends for around 40 minutes and makes claims that she was "imprisoned, tortured, beaten and censored” as well as going onto name those involved and setting out various potential crimes. That video was provided to the authorities and legal advisors. The full video has since been published on YouTube by a variety of sources.
Radha Stirling, who was the last party to speak with the missing persons said "We are very concerned for the safety of the missing persons. We have already been inundated with calls and emails and evidence that assist us and the authorities. We appeal to anyone for any information that could be helpful to please get in touch with us. We would also like to appeal to anyone that can assist with the search. Lawyers, Human rights organisations, friends, family or even the General public.
The missing persons requested our assistance and instructed us to assist them in in the event of their arrest or disappearance, which we are now doing. We are liaising with authorities, leading human rights lawyers and human rights organisations.
We are seeking response from US, British, Indian and UAE authorities on this incident. A US national and his American registered boat have gone missing, as well as Sheikha Latifa, with Indian intelligence suggesting that they are now in the custody of UAE authorities against their will."