Sunday, 28 February, 2021

Who is Princess Latifa? Abducted Dubai princess suspected hostage

Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum is seen next to Mary Robinson the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Dubai princess claims she is being held 'hostage' in secret video recordings
Ginger Lawrence | 17 February, 2021, 21:33

Mr Raab said the videos were "deeply troubling" and the UK Government would "always" raise human rights issues with its partners- including the United Arab Emirates.

The case of Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum made worldwide headlines Tuesday after the BBC released excerpts from video diaries she said were recorded in a locked bathroom inside the Dubai villa where she is being held.

Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum tried to flee the wealthy Gulf state in 2018 but was detained by commandos in a boat off India.

A shocking video of Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum, one of the daughters of ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, surfaced claiming that she was being held against her will in a barricaded villa. Dixon helped secure the release of a British researcher who was jailed in the UAE on spying charges in 2018.

But he said sanctions cannot be applied "willy-nilly", when asked if actions such as freezing assets could be taken. "Better to sort it out right now and do the right thing".

Sheikh Mohammed is the founder of the successful Godolphin horse-racing stable and is on friendly terms with Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.

The ruling came in a custody battle between Sheikh Mohammed and estranged wife Princess Haya, daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan.

Dubai Ruler's Daughter Says She's Being Held "Hostage"
In 2018 , AP reported how a friend and an ex-French spy helped Sheikha Latifa escape by boat, only to be captured off India. She said she was then tranquilized as she was being carried on a private jet which then brought her to Dubai.

Last March, a London High Court judge said he accepted as proved a series of allegations made by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum's former wife, Princess Haya, in a legal battle, including that the sheikh ordered the abduction of Latifa.

Sheikha Latifa's former personal trainer told the BBC that her friend recorded the video diaries on a phone that was smuggled to her about a year after her detention. She said she was making the video in the bathroom of the villa, the only room she could lock herself into.

"I don't want to be a hostage in this jail villa, I just want to be free". "I don't really know if I'm going to survive this situation", she says in one of the videos. And if they decide to release me, like how my life would be. "I am not safe here".

Her current whereabouts and condition are unknown.

She is not allowed to go outside even for fresh air, she said.

"We are concerned by this and I noticed that we've seen the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights will be following up on what we've seen and we'll be watching that very closely indeed". "Other parts of the United Nations human rights system with relevant mandates may also become involved once they have analysed the new material or received specific allegations", spokesman Rupert Colville told the BBC.

In February 2018, Latifa's attempt to flee the UAE accompanied by her Finnish friend Tiina Jauhiainen along with the former French intelligence officer Hervé Jaubert failed, as an Emirati military unit brought her back from global waters near the Indian coast.