Category Archives: Asylum

Princess Haya: Dubai ruler’s wife in UK ‘in fear of her life’

DubaiGetty Images

Princess Haya Bint al-Hussein, a wife of the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, is in hiding in London and said to be in fear for her life after fleeing her husband.

Sheikh Mohammed, 69, who is a billionaire racehorse owner and has often been seen conversing with the Queen at Ascot, has posted a furious poem on Instagram accusing an unidentified woman of “treachery and betrayal”.

The Jordanian-born and British-educated Princess Haya, 45, married Sheikh Mohammed – owner of Godolphin horse racing stables – in 2004, becoming his sixth and “junior wife”.

Sheikh Mohammed reportedly has 23 children by different wives.

Princess Haya fled initially this year to Germany to seek asylum. She is now said to be living in a £85m ($107m) town house in Kensington Palace Gardens, in central London, and preparing for a legal battle in the High Court.

So what prompted her to flee her luxurious life in Dubai and why is she said to be “afraid for her life”?

Sources close to her have said that Princess Haya had recently discovered disturbing facts behind the mysterious return to Dubai last year of Sheikha Latifa, one of the ruler’s daughters. She fled the UAE by sea with the help of a Frenchman but was intercepted by armed men off the coast of India and returned to Dubai.

Princess Haya then, along with the former Irish president Mary Robinson, defended Dubai’s reputation over the incident.

The Dubai authorities said the runaway Sheikha Latifa had been “vulnerable to exploitation” and was “now safe in Dubai”. But human rights advocates said she was forcibly abducted against her will.

Since then, it is alleged, Princess Haya has learnt new facts about the case and consequently came under increasing hostility and pressure from members of her husband’s extended family until she no longer felt safe there.

A source close to her said she fears she may now be abducted herself and “rendered” back to Dubai. The UAE embassy in London has declined to comment on what it says is a personal matter between two individuals.

There is, however, a wider, international element to this story.

Princess Haya, who was educated at Bryanston School in Dorset then Oxford University, is thought likely to want to stay in the UK.

If her estranged husband demands her return then this poses a diplomatic headache for Britain, which has close ties to the UAE.

The case is also awkward for Jordan since Princess Haya is the half-sister of Jordan’s King Abdullah. Nearly a quarter of a million Jordanians work in the UAE, sending back remittances, and Jordan cannot afford a rift with Dubai.

 

 

 

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-48843168

Catholic leaders speak out against ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy

imageCredit: Herika Martinez /AFP/ Getty Images

Washington D.C., Mar 14, 2019 / 06:32 pm (CNA).- Catholic leaders released a statement this week in disagreement with the United States’ expansion of a policy that restricts asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“We oppose U.S. policy requiring asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while waiting to access protection in the United States. We urge the Administration to reverse this policy, which needlessly increases the suffering of the most vulnerable and violates international protocols,” the statement read.

Bishop Joe Vasquez of Austin, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, and Sean Callahan, president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, released the joint statement on March 13.

First implemented in January, the Migrant Protection Protocols require asylum seekers at the San Ysidro border crossing to remain in Mexico while immigration courts process their case – a procedure that may take years. In previous administrations, asylum seekers were often permitted to remain in the U.S. while awaiting their court dates.

The U.S. government announced Tuesday that the program would now be expanded to the border crossing in Calexico, which is about 120 miles outside of San Diego. Department of Homeland Security officials stated that 240 asylum seekers have been returned to Mexico since the policy was enacted. They anticipate that the number will grow significantly as the program expands.

In February, a lawsuit was introduced in federal court challenging the policy, which is known unofficially as the “Remain in Mexico” policy. The suit claims that the program puts asylum seekers at risk because of Mexico’s dangerous conditions. A federal judge has not yet announced whether an injunction will be granted to block the policy while it is being considered in court.

The Associated Press reported that Mexico’s Foreign Relations and Interior departments objected to the policy update, which they say was made unilaterally by the United States. However, citing “humanitarian reasons,” the departments said a majority of the asylum seekers returned to Mexico will be allowed to stay.

Vasquez and Callahan also voiced opposition to the policy, emphasizing the rights of the people seeking shelter from harsh conditions, especially from the dangers witnessed in Central America.

“We steadfastly affirm a person’s right to seek asylum and find recent efforts to curtail and deter that right deeply troubling. We must look beyond our borders; families are escaping extreme violence and poverty at home and are fleeing for their lives,” the statement read.

The Church leaders reiterated the call of Pope Francis to protect and welcome immigrants and encouraged the government to respond with policies that best promote human dignity.

“Our government must adopt policies and provide more funding that address root causes of migration and promote human dignity and sustainable livelihoods,” they said.

 

 

 

 

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/catholic-leaders-speak-out-against-remain-in-mexico-policy-59110