The Dubai Ruler’s daughter, Sheikha Latifa, says she is being held hostage

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Sheikha Latifa said her situation was “getting more desperate every day”. (File photo)

London:

The daughter of Dubai’s ruler says she is being held captive after a failed attempt to escape and fears for her life, as the footage broadcast on Tuesday shows.

Sheikha Latifa has not been seen publicly since attempting to flee the emirate by sea in March 2018.

The clips, broadcast by the BBC, were filmed about a year after they were captured and returned to Dubai. They were crouched in the corner of a bathroom.

“I’m a hostage and this mansion has been turned into a prison,” she says in a cell phone video.

“There are five policemen outside and two policewomen in the house. Every day I worry about my safety and my life.”

In another video, Latifa says that her situation “is getting more desperate every day”.

“I don’t want to be a hostage in this prison mansion. I just want to be free,” she says.

The BBC released the video excerpts ahead of its investigative news program “Panorama”.

Sky News reported that it also received the videos but has not been able to contact Latifa for the past nine months.

The broadcasters reported that the videos have now been passed on to the United Nations by their friends.

The Dubai authorities did not respond to a request for comment.

Latifa’s father, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, is Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is a part.

He shares a passion for breeding racehorses with Queen Elizabeth II. And they have been photographed together.

“Locked Up” in Dubai

The undated videos aired when Latifa’s friends voiced their concern that secret messages were no longer coming from her, the BBC said.

Newsbeep

The videos came from Latifa’s Finnish friend Tiina Jauhiainen, who accompanied her on her attempt to escape.

The BBC said it had independently verified the details of Latifa’s whereabouts.

In 2018, Latifa attempted to flee the UAE in a boat that was then intercepted by commandos off the coast of India, according to her companions and Dubai-based British group Detained.

“I held onto the yacht … they pulled me off, I fought hard as best I could,” she recalls.

“I’ve met a lot of people with guns.”

In the videos, Latifa says that Emirates men sat on her, tried to handcuff her and injected her with a sedative.

A Dubai government source later said she was “brought back” and the UAE posted photos of Latifa showing “the care and assistance needed”.

Latifa said she was held in Al-Awir Central Prison in Dubai for about three months until May 2018 before being taken to the villa.

In 2019, Sheikh Mohammed’s ex-wife, Haya Bint Al Hussein, fled to London, where she applied for an order protecting forced marriage in relation to her school-age children.

The Emir of Dubai subjected Haya to intimidation ruled by a UK High Court judge last year, and granted her motion to bring the children to justice so they could live with her in London.

Judge Andrew McFarlane also ruled that both Latifa and her sister Sheikha Shamsa, the emir’s daughters from a previous marriage, had forcibly returned to Dubai.

He confirmed Latifa’s report that she had been arrested by Indian special forces at sea and had returned to Dubai.

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)

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