Join the fight to free Latifa!

£5,582 of £50,000 goal

Raised by 67 people in 10 months
Created March 9, 2018
“Freedom of choice is not something that, you know, we have. So, when you have it, you take it for granted, and if you don’t have it, it’s very, very special. “

On the night of March 4th, 2018, there was an unprecedented international incident when a significant Indian and UAE military force converged, and carried out an unprovoked attack on a small, American pleasure yacht off the coast of Goa, India.

This force consisting of at least two state-of-the-art ships of Indian Coast Guard, several hundred men, including an elite commando unit and a detachment of the UAE armed and state security forces, helicopters and planes were sent to illegally capture and kidnap one young woman.

On that night, Indian commandos boarded the yacht Nostromo, savagely beat and tortured the crew and the captain of the ship, and dragged the woman away, cold-heartedly and illegally ignoring her desperate pleas for asylum. That they did this even when they knew they were blatantly violating international law when they attacked an American ship in international waters speaks of the power of the man they indirectly served.

That man is Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the unelected and despotic ruler of Dubai, and the woman whose dream of freedom was brutally and violently crushed that night was his daughter, Princess Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum. And we need to save her.

“They told me that your father told us to beat you until we kill you. That’s his orders. Your father’s orders. Your father, the ruler of Dubai, that’s what he said.”

She was desperately trying to escape her gilded cage, where she, like so many other women, would have been forever considered a child, a mere possession of men, instead of an adult capable of her own choices. A place where she, like her older sister, was imprisoned, abused and tortured on the orders of her father for attempting to escape once before. A place where she is once again detained against her will, likely drugged and abused, or far worse.  

That place is Dubai in the 21st Century, a city selling us an illusion of modernity, tolerance and safety, where the glittering facade of gleaming skyscrapers, opulent shopping malls, and corporations like Emirates Airline, hides beneath itself a rotting core of human rights violations, corruption and an ever-present police state.

Latifa spent years planning her latest bid for freedom. Part of that plan was to record videos, to be released in the event her escape was unsuccessful. One of the recordings she made is a lengthy video chronicling her harrowing experiences and her dreams for a brighter future , and in so doing she delivers a scathing denouncement of the hypocrisy of her father, her extended family, and the Emirati society.

It’s only because of this video that her companions were released from captivity, and because of it – as well as another yet unreleased video – that she may yet have hope. This time Latifa surrounded herself with trusted friends and advisors who believe in her, and in the universal right to a free life.

We at Detained in Dubai are honored and humbled to be among those that Latifa trusted with her freedom and her life.

By now millions around the world have heard her voice and know her story. If you haven’t seen Latifa’s first video, please take a moment to watch the video , and listen to Latifa in her own words. You will witness a courageous young woman of unyielding spirit taking control of her own destiny. You might also want to read the statement from Human Rights Watch and the statement of the Guernica Group detailing an urgent UN request about the case to UAE and India.

For more information about Latifa, and the events that led to our involvement, in more detail on the campaign’s website: www.FreeLatifa.com . There you can find the testimonies of Tiina Jauhiainen, Latifa’s best friend and companion,  and Hervé Jaubert, the captain of the yacht. You'll also find a timeline of events, from her daring bid for freedom to the illegal attack on Nostromo, and what we at Detained in Dubai have done to help her since we received her emergency message.

You will also be able to read, watch or listen to the majority of the press coverage on Latifa, and watch regular video updates from us at Detained in Dubai on the progress of the fight to free Latifa.

Finally, on one day in hopefully not too distant future, we hope we will be able to present you with a video of Latifa greeting all of us who helped to save her. A video on which we hope will show this kind, animal loving vegan finally free and happy at last, and where she will be able to tell all of us what she is going to do with the rest of her life.


Our mission

Princess Latifa asked for our help, and like her friends on Nostromo, we will not let her down. We are fully committed to fighting for her freedom in the courts of law, and before governmental and international organizations such as the United Nations.

We also want to tell the story of Latifa’s bravery and selflessness to the whole world, for she truly is an inspiration to all of us. She wanted to make her story be known in the event she would not succeed in her escape. We are making sure her story will be heard everywhere.


Who we are

Detained in Dubai is a not-for-profit NGO formed to assist people who have become victims of injustice in the United Arab Emirates, our team have been helping thousands of victims of injustice for some ten years. We are acting on a wholly voluntary basis to help Princess Latifa, as are our partners, staff, and many volunteers.

We have appointed leading international human rights barrister Toby Cadman of Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers to head the legal team and act on behalf of Princess Latifa, Tiina and Hervé in seeking justice.


How your donation will help her

The campaign to free Latifa is an international campaign, and we are fighting a state with almost unlimited wealth and resources.  We will not be deterred or cowed by this fact.

While all members of the campaign team are volunteers, many of who have put their lives on hold to fight for the freedom of Latifa, there still are many expenses that we need your assistance on. There is so much more we can do to help Latifa, should we have more funding available to us.

Some of the examples of what we will spend the donations on are set out below.

·         Legal fees and expenses incurred during legal proceedings - We are pursuing criminal and civil actions in the US, UK, Finland and elsewhere, and have brought complaints before the UN. Our lawyers have donated much of their time to this cause but continue to incur expenses (e.g., travel) due to the international nature of this case.

·         Professional fees - We would like to hire professional private investigators, a graphic designer and public relations professionals

·         Publicity - This could include, for example, advertising campaigns in both traditional and social media, organizing demonstrations, printing leaflets and shirts for the campaign.

We pledge

·         Full transparency – your money will be used for this campaign only. We shall, on regular intervals, publish and detail everything the money has been spent on the campaign website www.freelatifa.com.

·         Keep on fighting – we will not give up until Princess Latifa Al Maktoum is safely released, and free to leave the UAE.

Please consider donating what you can and remember that even a small amount will help. And even if you can’t afford a donation right now, you can help us by spreading the word. Please follow us at Twitter - Radha Stirling (@RadhaStirling) , David Haigh (@DavidHaigh) or Detained in Dubai (@detainedindubai) and Facebook , and help us by tweeting and sharing this fundraiser. We would also be grateful if you could sign, and share, our online petition.  

“If I don’t make it out, I really hope some positive change will happen from all of this.”

Princess Latifa told Tiina that she intended to open a charity for women in situations similar to her own. Let’s help her together, and by doing so raise awareness for all women denied their freedom of choice.

We thank you for your support. Let’s make some noise.


Radha Stirling & David Haigh

Detained in Dubai
Kemp House
180 City Road
United Kingdom
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Update 3
Posted by Free Latifa
2 months ago
The leading international human rights charity Amnesty International joins UN and HRW in calls for release of Latifa Al Maktoum.
See the full report: https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE2589772018ENGLISH.pdf
+ Read More
Update 2
Posted by Free Latifa
5 months ago
Leading news show 60 minutes Australia, dedicate full hour show to the case of brave Princess Latifa, still missing. Dubai and her father tried to keep the story quite, they failed.

Find out more here:

Watch the show on YouTube here:

+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

£5,582 of £50,000 goal

Raised by 67 people in 10 months
Created March 9, 2018
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