Radha Stirling

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Radha Stirling
Radha Stirling.png
Alma materBond University
OccupationBritish criminal justice activist

Radha Stirling is the founder of the United Kingdom-based organisation Detained in Dubai. She founded Detained in Dubai in 2008, a civil and criminal justice organisation after her colleague, Cat Le-Huey, was imprisoned in Dubai. Stirling led the campaign to facilitate the media coverage on Le-Huey's case,[1] led to Stirling receiving consistent requests from other people in need of help. It was then that she realised Le-Huey's case was not isolated and that there was a need for an organisation to assist victims of injustice.[2][3]

Stirling also campaigns for changes to the legal system of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to improve its process of law and founded Detained Abroad in 2010 to campaign for reforms in the wider Middle East. She states her goal is to directly impact the development of international judicial systems and has widened her focus beyond the UAE to cover other Middle Eastern countries. Stirling has worked closely with Senators and Ministers of Parliament; her work with the Australian Parliament ensured provisions to safeguard citizens against human rights violations were included in their extradition treaty with the UAE.[4][5]

Most recently, in March 2018, acting for Sheikha Latifa Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, after she made allegations of abuse and torture against her father, the ruler of Dubai, Prime Minister and Vice President of the UAE.[6][7]

Early life[edit]

Stirling attended Mater Christi College, Yarra Valley Anglican School, Box Hill TAFE and Bond University .[8]


Stirling became active in the Middle Eastern region when Cat Le-Huy, a colleague and friend, was detained in Dubai. She led a campaign for his release in 2008, founding Detained in Dubai.[2][better source needed][9]

She was accociated with Dubai and Cairo based law firm Nasser Hashem and Partners, but left the firm after five years. Stirling started a civil & criminal justice campaign group Stirling & Partners, specialising in extradition and Interpol cases and is an advocate for policy reform within Interpol to prevent Interpol Abuse. Stirling has provided expert witness testimony in UAE extradition cases and civil litigation suits as a "country expert".[10]

in 2017, Stirling and Barrister Ben Cooper of Doughty Street Chambers urged the British Irish Commercial Bar Association (BICBA) to cancel an upcoming conference with Dubai's with the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) following allegations of corruption and malpractice.[11] BICBA later cancelled their event.[12]


Stirling has published articles and videos extensively on social media social media laws, cybercrime laws and Interpol red notice abuse. She has publicly campaigned for the release of people detained in the UAE, notably Jamie Harron, Ellie Holman, Billy Barclay, Johnson George, Richard Lau, Matthew Hedges, David Haigh, Matt Joyce and Marcus Lee, Safi Qurashi, Scott Richards, Conrad Cliteroe, Gary Cooper and Farzan Atharii.[13]

Sheikha Latifa bin al Maktoum, daughter of the ruler of Dubai, instructed Stirling's assistance during her attempted escape. Toby Cadman of Guernica International Justice Chambers brought the princess's case to the United Nations, following her reported abduction from US flagged yacht Nostromo in March 2018. Stirling provided testimony before the United Nations Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances and has worked closely with Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International to seek Sheikha Latifa's freedom. Stirling was featured on 60 Minutes and BBC documentary “Escape from Dubai” which showcased Latifa's escape and subsequent abduction by UAE and Indian military forces.

Stirling spoke at a Frontiers of Freedom conference in Washington DC,[14] in November 2018, on a dais with speakers that included Senator Rand Paul. She presented information on a variety of Middle East issues, including reports of increased aggression and lawlessness on the part of America's gulf allies. She suggested that relationships and policies needed to be reviewed in order to ensure security and safety for the United States and its Western allies.[15]


Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum[edit]

In December 2018, Helene Jaubert, the American ex-wife of former French Navy officer Hervé Jaubert told American news website The Daily Beast that Hervé Jaubert and Stirling had been in contact with princess Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum (II) for 5 years and invented the whole disappearance scheme together. According to Helene, “The whole plan was for Herve to help her escape and once he got her out the daughter was going to get to the dad and say I want $3 million or else I’ll tell all to the media”. According to Helene, "It was a con. It’s a corrupt scheme gone haywire". According to Stirling, Latifa phoned her from the boat in the middle of the ambush, saying she feared for her life and “was hearing gunshots.” According to Stirling, Latifa made the call via WhatsApp and evidence of the call was provided to authorities in the US and UK and made available to reporters, although The Daily Beast pointed out that a satellite phone is normally needed to call from their alleged location in the Indian Ocean.[16]

On 24 December 2018, Mary Therese Winifred Robinson, former President of Ireland and former Ambassador for the United Nations, announced that she had met with Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum (II) in the company of Princess Haya bint Hussein, a wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. In her statement and interviews, Mary Robinson claimed that Sheikha Latifa was a "troubled" individual and was in the loving care of her family. Robinson's statements were criticized by Stirling for being too similar to Dubai's official accounts of the story.[17]

Alcohol in Dubai[edit]

In August 2018, Radha Stirling stated that "the UAE maintains a deliberately misleading facade that alcohol consumption is perfectly legal for visitors" after Swedish-Iranian national Ellie Holman, whom she represented, was allegedly arrested for drinking one complimentary glass of wine aboard Emirates flight from London to Dubai. She said “They will offer you alcohol on their airline, and arrest you at the airport for accepting it. This can only be regarded as such a deliberate attempt to misrepresent UAE rules on alcohol that it amounts to entrapment."[18] Emirates released a statement clarifying that alcohol consumption is not prohibited on their flights and alcohol is served in the lounges in Dubai International Airport and available for purchase in the duty-free area of the airport.[19] A statement from attorney General of Dubai was released detailing that Holman attempted to enter Dubai using an expired Swedish passport and was held for less than 24 hours and then deported due to profanity and photographing a government official in a restricted area after she was informed that she needed to buy a short term visa.[20] Holman who was born in Iran, grew up in Sweden and had lived in the UK for almost 20 years, used her fiancé's surname but the name on her passport was Elham Reza Reza Sateei.[21] She later said that she was held due to a "visa mistake" in an article.[22] The story was criticized for being "fake news".[23]


  1. ^ "Man held for jet-lag drugs 'free'". 3 March 2008. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b Staff Writers (4 December 2017). "Inside Detained In Dubai, the NGO representing Asa Hutchinson, and who secured the release from Dubai of Jamie Harron, Billy Barclay, and Jamil Mukadam. The CEO and founder, Radha Stirling talks candidly". MyNewsDesk.com. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  3. ^ "Man held for jet-lag drugs 'free'". 3 March 2008. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  4. ^ "Detained in Dubai and Radha Stirling's Twitter accounts suspended". gulfnews.com. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  5. ^ Stirling, Radha (9 February 2011). SBS Radio Interview. Radha Stirling. Retrieved 3 July 2019. Timestamps of source content needed in support of appearing statements.[full citation needed]
  6. ^ Desk, News (30 June 2021). "Radha Stirling accuses India and UAE navy | Weekly Blitz". Retrieved 18 August 2021. {{cite web}}: |first= has generic name (help)
  7. ^ Bianca Britton (28 December 2018). "Sheikha Latifa: Former UN rights chief criticized". CNN. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  8. ^ "The ARCH Magazine | Issue 4 | 2010 Summer". Issuu. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  9. ^ "TV executive faces jail in Dubai for barely visible cannabis speck". The Independent. 22 February 2008. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  10. ^ Staff Writers (27 February 2017). "Lawyers call for UAE extradition treaty to be suspended over human rights fears". Irish Legal News. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  11. ^ Staff Writers (27 February 2017). "BICBA urged to cancel arbitration seminar in Dubai". Irish Legal News. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  12. ^ News, Scottish Legal. "BICBA urged to cancel arbitration seminar in Dubai". Scottish Legal News. Retrieved 18 August 2021. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  13. ^ "Home". detainedindubai.org.
  14. ^ Stirling, Radha (6 December 2018). Radha Stirling at Frontiers of Freedom's Saudi Arabia and UAE Conference. Frontiers of Freedom. Retrieved 3 July 2019. Timestamps of source content needed in support of appearing statements.
  15. ^ Radha Stirling at Frontiers of Freedom's Saudi Arabia and UAE Conference, retrieved 18 August 2021
  16. ^ Kennedy, Dana (5 December 2018). "The Missing Princess of Dubai: Foiled Escape or Complete Fraud?". The Daily Beast.
  17. ^ Sheikha Latifa: Former UN rights chief criticized for calling princess 'troubled', CNN, 29 December 2018,
  18. ^ "Woman arrested with daughter in Dubai over drinking wine is released". The Guardian. 11 August 2018.
  19. ^ Duncan, Gillian (9 September 2018). "Alcohol is 'not prohibited' on flights to Dubai, says Emirates". The National.
  20. ^ "Statement by the Attorney General of Dubai, regarding the case involving a Swedish national with her daughter at Dubai International Airport". Government of Dubai Media Office. 11 August 2018.
  21. ^ Dentist detained in Dubai feared she would be raped, thetimes.co.uk
  22. ^ "Deported Swede Ellie Holman concedes she made visa 'mistake' at Dubai airport". The National. 16 August 2018.
  23. ^ Denman, Selina (16 August 2018). "Is the coverage of the deported Swedish woman anything more than fake news?". The National.

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