Feared hostage Princess Latifa 'cared for at home', Dubai royal family says

The Dubai Royal Family said a princess feared she would be “cared for at home” amid international concerns for her safety.

Princess Latifa accused her father – the ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum – of taking her hostage in videos posted this week.

She tried to flee the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2018 but claims to have been in captivity since then.

The release of the secretly recorded videos led to calls for a United Nations investigation. The organization’s human rights commission then asked for proof that the princess was previously alive.

In response, the UAE Embassy in London said today that Princess – or Sheika – Latifa is being cared for at home.

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A statement added that media coverage did not reflect the real situation.

It said, “Your family has confirmed that Your Highness is cared for at home, supported by her family and medical professionals.

“It continues to improve and we hope it will return to public life at the right time.”

No video or photo was posted showing the family’s testimony that could serve as evidence of life.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the father of Princess Latifa

Princess Latifa claims she was beaten, drugged and locked up, first in a prison and then in a beamed mansion, after trying to escape Dubai two years ago.

She says she was forcibly returned the following month in what the royal family has termed a rescue mission.

Her plight was seen in the BBC panorama, which showed video messages recorded on a secret mobile phone of the now 35-year-old princess, insisting that she was afraid for her life.

On the news in the bathroom – the only room with a lock – she claimed, “I’m a hostage.

“And this mansion has been turned into a prison.

“All windows are closed, I cannot open any window.

“… I can’t even go outside to get some fresh air.”

She added, “Every day I worry about my safety and my life. I don’t really know if I will survive this situation.”

Dubai is now a global center

According to the BBC, Princess Latifa was guarded by around 30 police officers at the villa before her best friend Tiina Jauhiainen sounded the alarm when the videos suddenly stopped a few months ago.

On the back of the panoramic reveal, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “concerned” about their situation and confirmed that the UN was investigating.

Foreign Minister Dominic Raab also described the videos as “very worrying”.

The princess’s father, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, 71, is a billionaire and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates.

He is credited with building Dubai into the cosmopolitan city it is known as today.

Last year the London High Court found that her father, Sheikh Mohammed, “ordered and orchestrated” the kidnapping and forced Princess Latifa to return to Dubai twice, in 2002 and again in 2018.

He and the Royal Court of Dubai have always claimed that she is safe in the loving care of her family.


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