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The UK festival curator accuses the UAE minister of sexual assault

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The Times said McNamara, who had traveled to the UAE to work at the start of the literary festival there, claimed she was attacked by the sheikh when they met at a remote island villa.

The UAE Foreign Ministry, a federation of seven sheikhdoms in the Arabian Peninsula, also in Dubai, said it did not comment on personal matters. When questioned about the case, Brittany Metropolitan Police confirmed that a woman contacted the force on July 3 to report a rape charge and said she had been given an initial statement.

The Associated Press usually does not mention the names of the victims of the sexual assaults, but McNamara agreed to be identified by the Sunday Times, which posted her photo on the front page.

Hay Festival President Caroline Michel said her colleagues are committed to supporting McNamara in seeking legal action and said the festival will not return to Abu Dhabi while the sheikh remains in his post.

What happened to our friend and colleague Caitlin McNamara in Abu Dhabi last February was a horrific violation and a horrific abuse of faith and position, Michel said in a statement.

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan mocked his ministerial responsibilities and tragically undermined his governments’ efforts to work with the Hay Festival to promote free speech and women’s empowerment, she added.

The Sheikhs Ministry is paying for the four-day festival in Abu Dhabi, which took place in late February and featured several well-known authors.

Sheikh Nahyan has received international attention as the Emirates received Pope Francis and is moving towards normalizing ties with Israel while welcoming Jews to this Muslim-led nation.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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