Princess Latifa: Held hostage by father, Is she still safe and alive?

UAE: International media is concerned for the safety of Princess Latifa who was held hostage by her own father. She tried to break free in 2018 but was captured by the commandoes and brought back to UAE. She had been sharing secret videos but have been stopped suddenly.

Princess Latifa was using a smuggled phone to send secret video messages for the past two years in her captivity, now her messages have since ceased. The campaigners of Free Latifa are now calling for international intervention to probe into her safety and well-being.

Princess Latifa: Held hostage by father, Is she still safe and alive?
Princess Latifa: Held hostage by father, Is she still safe and alive?

A new video message obtained and aired by BBC Panorama has sparked international concern for her safety. In the video shared she is heard saying “I’m doing this video from a bathroom because this is the only room with a door I can lock. And the door to my room I put – because I can’t lock the door to my room there’s no key. So I am in a villa, I’m a hostage and this villa has been converted into a jail. All the windows are barred shut, I can’t open any windows. There are five policemen outside and two policewomen inside the house. And I can’t even go outside to get any fresh air.

Princess Latifa has serious concerns for her life she does not know if she will survive the situation. She has been told she will be imprisoned her whole life and will never see the sun again. She just wanted to breathe and live freely.

She had previously told in her videos that her father the ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, only cares about himself and his ego. He would even kill people for that.

The UAE government has previously confirmed the safety of Princess Latifa and said she is safe and happy with her family.

Her new videos include her attempt to escape in 2018 and how she was captured and brought back to her family only to be jailed in a villa for the rest of her life. Princess Latifa who is 35 now attempted to escape in 2018 with the help of French businessman, Hervé Jaubert, and her martial arts instructor and friend Tiina Jauhiainen.

Latife reached US-flagged yacht in international waters by taking a dinghy from Dubai Shore. Her freedom only lasted for eight days and was captured by special forces.

Latifa is the second of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum‘s 25 children who attempted to flee. Her older sister Shamsa was seized in 2000 on the streets of Cambridge after fleeing the family’s Surrey estate.  In an email she smuggled out from captivity in Dubai, Shamsa alleged: “I was caught by my father, he managed to track me down through someone I kept in touch with … He sent four Arab men to catch me, they were carrying guns and threatening me.”

Latifa has tried to escape once before at the age of sixteen but was captured and jailed for more than three years. She was also subject to constant physical torture.

In 2019 The wife of Dubai leader Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Princess Haya had fled her husband and hid in London.

There is now rising concern for Princess Latifa’s life and safety. Her friends are urging the UN to step in.

The former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and president of Ireland has joined calls for international action to establish Latifa’s current condition and whereabouts.

“I continue to be very worried about Latifa. Things have moved on. And so I think it should be investigated,” she said.

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