Ruler Sheikh Maktoum from the UAE appears in desert races as he is seen for the first time since the trial
Pictured: Sheikh Mohammed with his son Zayed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and daughter Sheikha Al Jalila during the first day of Royal Ascot
Sheikh Maktoum is vice president and prime minister of the UAE and the ruler of the Emirate of Dubai. Since joining in 2006, he has implemented major reforms in the UAE government and has been held responsible for turning Dubai into a rich and global mega city.
The sheik trained in the army before being appointed head of the Dubai Police Force and Dubai Defense Force, and was the UAE’s prime minister of defense in December 1971. In January 1995, his older brother Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum named crown prince. , and started a policy to tackle corruption by the government that led to the arrest, accusation and unusual public “naming and shaming” of 14 officials, including six officers.
After acting as the de facto ruler of the UAE for about a decade, he became Vice President of the UAE in January 2006 and Prime Minister of the UAE in February. He has created and encouraged the growth of numerous Dubai companies and economic assets, including Dubai World, Dubai Holding and Emirates flight.
The reign of Sheikh Maktoum is entangled in controversy. Claims about the abduction of two of his children – Princesses Shamsa and Latifa – were raised during the high-profile High Court case with his wife Princess Haya, who fled from Dubai in 2019.
He has been criticized by human rights organizations for alleged infringements, while managing a legal system that requires the execution of criminals by firing a squadron, suspension or stoning. Punishment for flogging – a legal punishment for offenses such as adultery, premarital sex and alcohol consumption – ranges from 80 to 200 lashes. Apostasy from Islam and homosexuality are crimes that can be punished with death, while women in the country need permission from male guardians to marry and remarry.
It is not permitted in any way to be critical of the UAE government, royal families, officials and police. Attempts to demonstrate in public encounter resistance. Human Rights Watch has accused the UAE regime of violating the rights to freedom of expression, while US intelligence agencies have found that the UAE had developed its own messaging app – to be used for espionage.
The UAE government has also been accused of abducting, detaining, and torturing political opponents and expats, often forcing forced confessions from alleged plots to overthrow the regime. For example, during the Arab Spring in 2011, at least 100 activists were imprisoned and tortured.
The Arab human rights organization has listed 16 different torture methods used by the UAE government, including electrocution. In the meantime, Amnesty International accused the UAE of holding secret prisons in Yemen where prisoners have been violently disappeared and tortured.