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  • Writer's pictureDetained in Dubai

UAE, India attacked American vessel on the basis of “Islamic Law”

US registered 'Nostromo', attacked by Indian and UAE forces in international waters on the 3rd of March 2018

Hervé Jaubert, the French-American national who helped a Dubai princess escape ‘years of abuse’, and who was abducted along with everyone on board his yacht in a joint military operation by the UAE and India, remains unsafe at sea following his release, as Emirates officials cite “Islamic Law” as the basis of the illegal raid on his boat.

Upon releasing Hervé Jaubert from custody, UAE officials acknowledged that he had not committed any crime, but that by helping in the escape of Sheikha Latifa, daughter of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and prime minister of the UAE, he had violated their religious beliefs, and that this was why they mobilised the attack on Jaubert’s yacht Nostromo. Hervé said “they told me that although I did not break any laws in the water, I broke Islamic Law. Because under Islamic Law women are in the custody of a father, husband or brother. So when I helped Latifa to escape, they viewed that as kidnapping her from her father; and that is how they justified their military operation against Nostromo, abducting us, and taking us back to the UAE.”

Jaubert, a French-American national tried to help Sheikha Latifa escape ‘years of abuse’, by agreeing to transport her and a friend to India on his US registered yacht. However, after only a few days at sea, Herve’s vessel was the target of a violent raid conducted jointly by the UAE and India, that saw himself, his crew, Latifa Al Maktoum, and Tiina Jauhiaien abducted and taken by force to the UAE.

It appears that Jaubert’s yacht, Nostromo, was raided by the Indian Coast Guard on March 4th at the request of the UAE. In a statement to Detained in Dubai, Jaubert recounted the attack, “on the 4th we were attacked by Indian forces who boarded us from Indian Coast guard boats. They were about 12 armed men. They beat us severely with guns, and they robbed us; took pretty much everything from the boat.”

Jaubert explained that UAE officers boarded his vessel immediately after Indian forces had taken control of it. The Indian Coast Guard refueled the yacht, and the journey began back to the Emirates. “We were taken to the UAE. Kidnapped, and sent to jail in the UAE, I don’t know where. We were blindfolded and handcuffed. I had no idea where they kept us,” Hervé explained, “All together there were like 5 warships, two planes and a helicopter.”

The Emirates, therefore, mobilised the security forces of two American allies; the UAE and India; to undertake a hostile raid on a US flagged vessel in international waters, in gross violation of International Law, Maritime Law, and the existing treaties between them; citing “Islamic Law” as their justification for doing so.

Jaubert points out that this was a major military operation targeting a vessel under American jurisdiction, with no legal justification whatsoever. “It’s shocking and completely unbelievable what India, the armed forces of India, did to attack us. I mean 5 warships. I’m not talking about patrol boat, I’m talking about warships with cannons and missiles. It was a precise and planned attack. They hunted us, they found us, and they attacked us with no warning, no notice, no radio call…Just plain military attack.”

Jaubert had agreed to help the Dubai princess, Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum, when she contacted him with harrowing details of what she allegedly suffered on her father’s orders since the age of 16. Latifa has said that she was beaten, tortured, detained, and forcibly drugged for years by order of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; the ruler of Dubai and prime minister of the UAE. She sought Hervé’s help as he had himself previously escaped prison in the UAE, and is a highly trained former French intelligence officer.

Hervé explained, “I tried to help Princess Latifa to escape from Dubai because she said she was abused and tortured by her father and this abuse, that I have experienced myself, is something that cannot be tolerated.”

Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai, expressed concern for Jaubert’s safety, “I have known Hervé off and on for over 10 years; he is a kind and selfless man, dedicated to helping anyone who suffers injustice. Given the fact that the UAE had no compunction about violating a whole catalogue of laws in order to take custody of Sheikha Latifa, presumably to ensure that her story would never reach the eyes and ears of the world, we are deeply concerned for Hervé Jaubert’s safety while still at sea. He is not only a victim, but a material witness to the acts committed by the United Arab Emirates and Indian Armed Forces, and we have every reason to believe that all parties involved in the illegal commandeering of Nostromo may wish to prevent Hervé’s testimony from ever being heard.

“Clearly the justification Emirati officials offered Hervé about their actions is deeply troubling. If the UAE feels that their own cultural norms and their religious beliefs supersede their international legal obligations and the rule of law; and that they have the right to impose their interpretation of Islamic Law against free citizens of foreign countries in international waters; we cannot feel assured of Hervé’s security until he reaches a safe jurisdiction.”

Jaubert with Sheikh Mohammed, before his escape

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