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When legal reality is more startling than fiction- Dubai royals, kidnap, exile, threats and women's rights

The High Court today published a series of judgments regarding allegations made by Princess Haya Bint Al-Hussain against her former husband, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and ruler of the emirate of Dubai.

The Fact Finding Judgment is a jaw-dropping account of abduction, forced return, harassment, torture and intimidation, featuring helicopters, abducted princesses, guns placed on pillows and remote islands. That it should involve such a high profile figure, renown in the Middle East and in the horseracing world, makes the story all the more compelling....but also more disturbing.

It is frightening that women in the 21st century continue to face these threats to their liberties. That this should happen at the top echelons of high profile elites should make us very concerned about the plight of more anonymous victims. 

As we celebrate International Women's Day this week, let us not forget that, however far we may have come to date, there remains much to do.

Abduction, forced return, torture and a campaign of intimidation. On Thursday the damning allegations made against the billionaire ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, by his former wife, Princess Haya Bint Al-Hussain, became established fact, published in a series of judgements by Britain's High Court.

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