Mary Robinson and fate of a princess


Sir, – Mary Robinson makes a dubious statement, to say the least, when she claims that Emirati princess Sheikha Latifa is “ . . . a very likeable young woman but clearly troubled, clearly needs the medical care that she’s receiving . . . She’s receiving psychiatric care and they [her family] don’t want her to endure any more publicity” (“Emirati princess a “troubled” woman, says Mary Robinson”, World News, December 27th).

Radha Stirling, the chief executive of the Detained in Dubai group, said it was astonishing “the extent to which Mrs Robinson appeared to be reciting almost verbatim from Dubai’s script”.

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, points out that there have been numerous incidents of enforced disappearances by the UAE authorities.

As Mr Roth said, “I would be troubled too if I had tried to escape a gilded prison and was kidnapped back into it”. – Yours, etc,


Arbour Hill,

Dublin 7.

Sir, – A young woman wishes to leave home to exercise control over her own life and destiny.

Her family, knowing better, want to hold on to her. A concerned family friend assures us that she is “vulnerable”, “clearly troubled” and in need of psychiatric care.

So where did this scenario unroll? 1950s Ireland? In a Magdalene laundry?

No. Dubai in 2018.

And the concerned family friend is none other than Mary Robinson, defender of human rights and feminist values. – Yours, etc,



Co Galway.