Belfast Telegraph

Fresh criticism of Robinson over Princess Latifa case

Under fire: Mary Robinson
Under fire: Mary Robinson

By Cormac McQuinn

There has been renewed criticism of former Irish President Mary Robinson over her involvement in the case of Dubai princess Sheikha Latifa who had tried to flee her homeland.

It comes as Latifa's stepmother Princess Haya, a friend of Ms Robinson's, has now reportedly fled the United Arab Emirates.

The Free Latifa campaign has criticised Ms Robinson for declining to comment on fresh developments and accused her of showing "errors of judgment".

Princess Latifa, daughter of Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, made an alleged bid to escape the UAE and had not been seen in public since reports she had been recaptured near the Indian coastline in March 2018.

Ms Robinson travelled to Dubai last December at the invitation of Princess Haya, who she said she has "known and worked with" for many years on humanitarian issues at the United Nations.

The former Irish President was pictured having lunch with Princess Latifa and following the meeting described her as a "troubled young woman". The nature of the visit was criticised by advocacy groups Human Rights Watch and Detained in Dubai.

Princess Haya later told RTE's Marian Finucane Show she invited Ms Robinson to "seek counsel as a family friend". Now she is reported to have herself fled Dubai and travelled to Germany.

Ms Robinson's spokesperson told the Sunday Times that she would not be commenting on the reports as it is a "private matter".

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