Dubai ruler’s wife seeks ‘forced mar­riage protection or­der’

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

The wife of Dubai ruler Sheikh Mo­hammed bin Rashid almak­toum has ap­plied for a “forced mar­riage protection or­der” in Eng­land’s High Court in re­la­tion to one of her two chil­dren.

Princess Haya bint al-hus­sein, the 45-year-old Jor­da­nian daugh­ter of late King Hus­sein and half-sis­ter to King Ab­dul­lah, also ap­plied for a “non-mo­lesta­tion or­der,” which pro­tects from ha­rass­ment or threats. It was not clear who this or­der was in re­la­tion to.

At the High Court of Eng­land and Wales, she also ap­plied for ward­ship, which means a child is placed in the hands of the court for ma­jor de­ci­sions.

A forced mar­riage protection or­der helps if some­one says they have been forced into mar­riage or are al­ready in a forced mar­riage, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial Bri­tish le­gal def­i­ni­tions.

When asked about the court pro­ceed­ings, an of­fi­cial at the Lon­don em­bassy of the United Arab Emirates said: “The UAE gov­ern­ment does not in­tend to com­ment on al­le­ga­tions about in­di­vid­u­als’ pri­vate lives.”

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the sheikh did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to re­quests for com­ment. The Dubai gov­ern­ment me­dia of­fice de­clined to com­ment on “a pri­vate mat­ter that is be­ing re­solved in the court.”

The 70-year-old sheikh, who is also vice pres­i­dent of the UAE, wed the princess, a for­mer mem­ber of the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee, in 2004 in what was be­lieved to be his sixth mar­riage. He has more than 20 chil­dren by dif­fer­ent wives.

Princess Haya, who com­peted in eques­trian jump­ing in the 2000 Olympics in Syd­ney, has of­ten at­tended Bri­tain’s Royal As­cot horse races with Sheikh Mo­hammed.

Princess Haya at­tended the court hear­ing in Lon­don. Sheikh Mo­hammed did not. Two of Bri­tain’s most fa­mous fam­ily lawyers are rep­re­sent­ing the two par­ties: Fiona Shack­le­ton is rep­re­sent­ing Haya and He­len Ward is rep­re­sent­ing Sheikh Mo­hammed.

“These pro­ceed­ings are con­cerned with the wel­fare of the two chil­dren of their mar­riage and do not con­cern di­vorce or fi­nances,” the two par­ties said in a joint state­ment is­sued by the High Court ear­lier this month.

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