Dubai princess claims she is being held 'hostage' in secret video recordings

Henrietta Brewer
February 17, 2021

A daughter of Dubai's ruler said she was being held against her will in a villa after she tried to flee the country in 2018, according to leaked footage published on Tuesday.

In 2018, the AP reported how a friend and an ex-French spy helped Sheikha Latifa escape by boat, only to be captured off India.

Friends say they are concerned for Sheikha Latifa's safety because she hasn't been heard from since she stopped responding to text messages six months ago.

The attorney for a daughter of Dubai's ruler urged the Gulf emirate to release the young woman from nearly three years of detention and avoid further worldwide scandal after a videotaped plea for freedom spurred the UN's human rights body to seek information about her status. Raab said Britain was "concerned", but he suggested there was little the government could do because Latifa is not a United Kingdom national.

He told Sky News: "You can only watch the footage...and see that there is very distressing pictures, a very hard case".

Dr Robinson was the first female president of Ireland and is a former United Nations high commissioner for human rights.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said people "will want to see that she is alive and well" after she described in smuggled videos how she had been locked in a villa without access to sunlight or fresh air while under constant police guard. "I think that's a natural instinct and we would certainly welcome that".

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called the videos "very distressing" and said he supported a United Nations investigation.

He said the United Kingdom did not have a direct locus in the case and the right mechanism was to deal with it through the UN.

'There is a very strict legal's not simply the case that we can willy-nilly, if you like, just slap sanctions on individuals'.

"Do the right thing", he said.

'I think that is the proper course right now, to follow those developments quite closely'.

In a series of secretly recorded videos, Princess Latifa claims she was threatened with being shot unless she co-operates with official statements issued by her father.

"All the windows are barred shut, I can't open any windows". There's five policemen outside and two policewomen inside.

"I don't really know if I'm going to survive this situation", she said.

The footage shows Princess Latifa saying: 'I'm a hostage.

Ms Robinson now says she feels "horribly tricked" by the family of Princess Latifa, who sent a number of video messages from the place where she alleges she is being held captive.

She recorded them in a bathroom as it was the only door she could lock and she appears to be in a serious state of distress.

The UN has said it will raise the detention of Princess Latifa with the authorities in the UAE.

In the videos, the princess says she is "worried about my safety and my life".

She told last night's Panorama that she didn't have any objection to the image being taken at the time as she meant to send it to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, for "proof of life".

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

Other reports by iNewsToday