Mary Robinson, a former United Nations human rights commissioner and president of Ireland, has come under fire for describing an Emirati princess who is allegedly being held captive by her family a “troubled” woman. Robinson met with Sheikha Latifa, a daughter of Dubai’s ruler, earlier this month at the family’s home. The UAE released pictures of the sit-down, marking the first time Latifa has been seen since she was allegedly captured from a yacht. Robinson insisted during an interview with a BBC radio program that Latifa is “in the loving care of her family.” Human-rights groups said Robinson’s account was almost identical to what the UAE authorities accused of kidnapping Latifa have stated.
The daughter of Dubai’s ruler allegedly fled her home by boat in March 2018 but was intercepted at sea by commandos in the Indian Ocean. The princess pre-recorded a video to be released in the event her escape attempt failed in which she warned that if she was caught she would either be dead or in “a very, very, very bad situation.” Robinson said that Latifa’s family had asked her “to help with a family dilemma” and downplayed the escape attempt. “Robinson appeared to be reciting almost verbatim from Dubai’s script," said Radha Stirling, the head of Detained in Dubai, a human-rights group.