Dubai’s Princess Haya applies for order in London to protect child from forced marriage


Posted on: July 31st, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

MichaƂ Chodyra/iStock(DUBAI, United Arab Emirates) — Princess Haya, the sixth wife of the ruler of Dubai, was seen outside the High Court in London on the first day of a secretive court case as she applied for a protective order to prevent one of her children from being forced into marriage.

The dispute between Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, and his wife, Princess Haya, has been the subject of intense media speculation in recent weeks, after it was reported she was in “hiding” in London at the beginning of July, allegedly in “fear of her life.”

Princess Haya, who was seen entering and leaving the court Tuesday, asked for a non-molestation order and a forced marriage protection order for her children, who cannot be named for legal reasons, according to British media .

The aim of a forced marriage protection order is to protect someone who has been forced into, or is in the process of being forced into, a marriage. A forced marriage is defined under British laws as “a marriage that takes place without the full and free consent of both parties,” with the term “force” including physical, emotional or psychological abuse.

In U.K. family law, a non-molestation order is designed to prevent individuals or their children from being abused. If a non-molestation order is breached, this can result in a criminal offense.

Sheikh Mohammed, who did not attend the court hearing, is seeking the return of his two children to Dubai. He is estimated to have a net worth in excess of $4 billion, according to Forbes, and his representatives declined to comment to ABC News.

Reporters from foreign media outlets were not granted access inside the Tuesday court hearing, although British outlets were allowed to attend. However, the president of the Family Division of the High Court denied the sheikh’s request to have details about the protection orders not be reported by the attending British media.

Despite reports in recent weeks the upcoming court case is a divorce, the U.K.’s judicial press office, with the agreement of the couple and the president of the Family Division of the High Court, issued a statement earlier this month saying the case strictly concerned the “welfare of the two children.”

That has not stopped the husband and wife from hiring two of the U.K.’s foremost divorce lawyers, however.

Despite reports in recent weeks the upcoming court case is a divorce, the U.K.’s judicial press office, with the agreement of the couple and the president of the Family Division of the High Court, issued a statement earlier this month saying the case strictly concerned the “welfare of the two children.”

That has not stopped the husband and wife from hiring two of the U.K.’s foremost divorce lawyers, however.

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