The woman police officer who tortured Latifa calls herself a “lucky and morally motivated girl”.
A Dubai palace whistleblower has provided a sworn witness statement to the International Criminal Court, naming a female police officer as one of Princess Latifa’s main torturers.
Radha Stirling, CEO of Due Process International and Detained in Dubai brought Princess Latifa’s testimony video to the press in 2018. Latifa testified that she had been forcibly drugged, locked up in a cell for years, beaten and tortured at the order of her father, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai. Princess Latifa confided in Captain Hervé Jaubert for seven years prior to her daring escape from Dubai.
In his book, “A Private Family Matter”, Jaubert describes the harrowing exchange between Princess Latifa and her torturer, Warda. Latifa had previously tried to escape over the border to Oman but was captured, resulting in her lengthy detention and further abuse. In his book, Jaubert describes Warda yelling at Latifa to undress, threatening her, interrogating her:
“Your father told us to beat you until we kill you; that’s my orders, that’s what he said!” In her own testimony, Latifa recalls how she was beaten for hours, held down while her torturers beat her in and out of consciousness. She lay in excruciating pain.
Jaubert further relays Warda’s comments to Latifa, “You know we are going to break you, we have all the time in the world.” Latifa begged her to stop but Warda continued the interrogation, tasked to expose any accomplices in the escape attempt. She approached Latifa and pinched her skin, hoping to gather intelligence, but Latifa reacted and lunged at Warda, going straight for her eyes, grabbing her neck in an arm lock. Two male guards intervened and after a struggle, eventually restrained Latifa. She was left in restraints for three days with no food.
The palace insider, who spent decades with Dubai royals and the princesses, divulged that Warda is answerable to Sheikh Mohammed’s first wife, Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, and that Sheikha Hind has been responsible for deliberately ordering the mistreatment and abuse of rival children of Sheikh Mohammed’s. “She [Warda] is the woman who tortured all the daughters. She tortured Shamsa, Latifa, and Mariam. She is responsible for any torture ordered to take place at the (notorious) tent”, he said. He described Sheikha Hind’s jealousy and competitiveness as the main motivation behind her hateful orders.
Who is Warda Jabert Al-Ketbi?
Warda Jabert Al-Ketbi is now a named defendant in an International Criminal Court submission for crimes against humanity, but that’s not how the young officer sees herself.
An Emirati news outlet proudly reported that she “considers herself a lucky girl to encourage and support her family and husband, and with this moral motivation she persistently proves the capabilities of Emirati women in self-affirmation, commitment and confidence”.
Women in the UAE
Radha Stirling has been advocating for women’s rights in the UAE for 15 years. She’s seen rape victims jailed for sex outside marriage, victims of male guardianship and domestic abuse and the general prejudice against women facing the justice system in Dubai. “I was not shocked that one of the main torturers of Princess Latifa was a woman, but I was disgusted. What’s more reprehensible is Al-Kepti promoting herself in local media outlets as morally motivated, almost as an icon for women in the Emirates. Could she perhaps be the least inspirational woman in the United Arab Emirates along with her female co-conspirators?”
The government of the United Arab Emirates has touted itself as a supporter of women’s rights, claiming “gender equality is of paramount importance in the UAE”. Dubai hosted the Global Summit of Women in May 2023 which Stirling described as a gross misrepresentation of the real situation for many women. When women are repeatedly abused and when it’s coming from the leadership, it’s irresponsible for foreigners to participate in summits that are designed to gloss over the truth.
The ICC claim, filed by Dr Jonathan Levy on behalf of the witnesses and Due Process International, describes the princesses being forcibly drugged and subjected to wrongful imprisonment, physical abuse and torture. Princess Latifa was unlawfully abducted from a US flagged yacht in international waters, along with Captain Jaubert and the crew. She was then wrongfully imprisoned and subjected to the same human rights violations that caused her to flee in the first place. The English High Court and the United Nations found crimes committed against her and Sheikh Mohammed’s second wife, Princess Haya, also exposed crimes against Latifa after fleeing with her children, fearing for her life.
“Emirati women are less likely to succeed in child custody claims, less likely to have a fair trial and less likely to obtain police assistance when a victim of abuse. Women have been forced to flee the country because they can’t get help and many have been forced to give up employment because their husband has refused to give them permission to work.
“While such abuse continues and when we have a current ruler accused of such nefarious crimes against his own daughters, Western citizens should not participate in the reputation management of the Emirates”.
CEO at Due Process International
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