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Dubai ruler’s wife applies for forced marriage protection order for children in UK

Princess Haya bint Al Hussein (Photo by AFP)

The estranged wife of the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has applied for a forced marriage protection order relating to their children in the United Kingdom.

The London-based High Court heard on Tuesday that Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, half sister of Jordanian monarch King Abdullah II, has applied for the order, as well as for wardship of their children, and a non-molestation order relating to herself.

At a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, Judge Andrew McFarlane allowed media to report that Princess Haya had made the applications.

The court also heard that Sheikh Mohammed has applied to the High Court for the summary return of the son Zayed, 7, and 11-year-old daughter Al Jalila to Dubai.

Under the British law, forced marriages are distinct from arranged ones, and are those without the full and free consent of both parties.

A forced marriage protection order can be used to help someone, who is being forced into marriage or who has been subjected to one.

They can be applied for by the person in question, a relevant third party or anyone else with the permission of the court.

Applications must include details of how the applicant wants to be protected by the court.

Earlier, the couple had issued a statement about the nature of the case following a previous hearing held in private in London.

“These proceedings are concerned with the welfare of the two children of their marriage and do not concern divorce or finances,” the statement read.

It said the preliminary case management hearing would “deal with issues relating to how to proceed to a final hearing to determine the welfare issues.”

Princess Haya married Sheikh Mohammed in 2004. The end of his marriage is a fresh blow to the Dubai ruler, whose daughter Princess Latifa bint Mohammed Maktoum, 33, sought to escape last year before being captured on a boat off the Indian coast.

Human rights groups claim she is being held in captivity in Dubai.

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