Radha Stirling responds to Sheikh Mohammed seeking custody of his children through foreign courts
"What we have seen is that the endemic human rights violations in the UAE very much reflect a top-down, authoritarian system. The abuses that permeate the legal system; torture, forced confessions, fabrication of evidence, and arbitrary detention; correspond with the attitude and behaviour of those at the highest levels of government. I have testified as an expert witness in several high profile cases defending against extradition to the UAE, and the United Kingdom has categorically refused to hand individuals over to the Emirates due to human rights concerns.
"The UK courts should bear this in mind when determining Sheikh Mohammed’s suit for custody in this case. This is a man who not only wields absolute authority over Dubai; and therefore bears ultimate responsibility for the rampant corruption and abuse of that system; but he is also the man who literally ordered a military raid on a civilian vessel in international waters to abduct his own daughter who was fleeing what she has called years of abuse at his hands.
"This is a man who has flatly refused to cooperate with a United Nation inquiry into that incident, and who deems criminal allegations of physical violence, unlawful imprisonment, kidnapping, and forced drugging, to be “private family matters”. It is inconceivable to me that any court in Great Britain, free from undue political influence, could grant custody to Sheikh Mohammed, given his very public track record as an alleged serial abuser”