Wed, 12 May 2021

UN Seeks Clarity on Fate of Jordanian Prince, Dubai Princess

Voice of America
11 Apr 2021, 04:05 GMT+10

GENEVA - The U.N. human rights office says it is continuing to seek clarity on the current situation involving Jordanian Prince Hamzah bin Hussein and Dubai's Princess Latifa Al Maktoum.

The fate of the two Middle Eastern royals remains shrouded in mystery. Jordan's King Abdullah placed his half-brother, former crown prince Hamzah, under house arrest April 3 for allegedly plotting with foreign supporters to destabilize the kingdom.

At least 16 other senior officials and tribal leaders, supposedly allied with the prince, also were arrested on the same day. The prince denies the charges.

Following an investigation, U.N. human rights spokeswoman Marta Hurtado says it is not clear whether Hamzah is still under de facto house arrest or not.

"It appears that no charges have been yet brought and we are concerned at the lack of transparency around these arrests and detentions. We underline that any investigation, including investigations on the basis of accusations linked to national security, must be conducted in line with international human rights law," Hurtado said.

FILE - A photo released Dec. 24, 2018, by the United Arab Emirates' Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, shows Princess Latifa Al Maktoum, in Dubai, UAE, Dec. 15, 2018. FILE - A photo released Dec. 24, 2018, by the United Arab Emirates' Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, shows Princess Latifa Al Maktoum, in Dubai, UAE, Dec. 15, 2018.

Regarding the fate of Dubai's Princess Latifa, Hurtado said her office still has not received any proof of life. The 35-year-old royal was last seen in 2018, when she reportedly tried to flee the emirate, was captured and forcibly returned.

In a video that surfaced this February, the princess claimed she was being held hostage by her father, the ruler of the United Arab Emirates.

Hurtado said her agency has been in contact with the UAE mission in Geneva and is trying to set up a meeting between senior human rights officials and the ambassador to find out what is happening with the princess. She said the mission has accepted the request in principle, but no fixed date has yet been set.

"Yes, we have not got any proof of life and we would like one, and one that is clear, compelling evidence that she is alive. And our first concern, of course, is to be sure of that, that she is still alive," the spokeswoman said.

Ideally, Hurtado said, U.N. officials would like to meet and talk to the princess in private, so they can freely examine all aspects of her situation. If and when the meeting takes place, she said her office also plans to raise the case of her older sister, 39-year-old Princess Shamsa.

She reportedly was captured by Emirati agents in Cambridge, England, after fleeing her family in 2000. Shamsa is believed to be held captive in Dubai.

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