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Princess Latifa: Dubai princess claims she is being held ‘hostage’ in secret video recordings

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Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum — the daughter of UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum — was final seen publicly in March 2018 aboard a yacht off the coast of India earlier than a raid by Indian and Emirati forces took her again to Dubai, based on two individuals who had helped plan her escape.

It was her second failed try and flee overseas after she beforehand tried to go away the UAE in 2002 as a young person.

In a video clip, obtained by BBC Panorama and equipped to CNN forward of ‘The Missing Princess‘ documentary airing Tuesday night time, Princess Latifa says: “I am a hostage. This villa has been transformed into jail. All of the home windows are barred shut, I can not open any window … I have been on my own, solitary confinement. No entry to medical assist, no trial, no cost, nothing.”

CNN has not independently verified the movies or Latifa’s present whereabouts. CNN has contacted the Dubai authorities for remark.

Princess Latifa secretly recorded the movies herself on a cell phone while hiding in a locked lavatory, according to the BBC. The documentary says round a 12 months after Latifa was taken again to Dubai, her buddy Tiina Jauhiainen was contacted by somebody who helped her secretly reconnect together with her.

Jauhiainen managed to get a telephone to Latifa and since then the princess has recorded many video messages “describing her captivity in a villa transformed right into a jail with its home windows barred shut,” based on a BBC press launch.

“BBC Panorama has independently verified the small print of the place Latifa was being held hostage. She was guarded by round 30 police, engaged on rotation, each inside and out of doors the villa. The situation is simply metres from the seaside. It’s not recognized if she continues to be there,” the press launch says.

Dubai ruler abducted daughters and threatened ex-wife, UK court finds

In one other video to be proven within the documentary Latifa says: “I’ve been right here ever since, for greater than a 12 months in solitary confinement. No entry to medical assist, no trial, no cost, nothing … On daily basis I’m nervous about my security and the police threaten me that I’ll by no means see the solar once more. I’m not secure right here.”

Jauhiainen tells the documentary she is significantly involved for her buddy: “She is so pale, she hasn’t seen daylight for months. She will principally transfer simply from her room to the kitchen and again.”

After her failed escape in 2018, in December of that 12 months Latifa was visited by the previous UN Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson. Latifa was seen in grainy photographs alongside Robinson, a former President of Eire, who mentioned later that Latifa was “troubled” and “regretted” her makes an attempt to flee. Robinson’s account was criticized by human rights activists.

Robinson made the go to on the request of the ruling household, based on a communique the UAE mission in Geneva despatched to the Workplace of Particular Procedures on the Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights for the United Nations. “The paperwork reply to and rebut false allegations which were made about Her Highness, offering proof that she is alive and dwelling together with her household in Dubai,” the assertion mentioned.

Nevertheless, within the BBC Panorama episode, Robinson provides a unique account of her controversial assembly with Latifa in 2018.

“I used to be misled, initially by my good buddy princess Haya, as a result of she was misled. Haya started to elucidate that Latifa had fairly a severe bipolar drawback. And so they have been saying to me, in a method that was very convincing: ‘we do not need Latifa to undergo any additional trauma’ … I did not know handle anyone who was bipolar about their trauma. And I did not actually really need to speak to her and enhance the trauma over a pleasant lunch,” Robinson says in a clip from this system.

Jordanian Princess Haya bint al-Hussein is the previous spouse of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Princess Haya fled Dubai for London together with her two kids by the sheikh in 2019. The princess, who was the sheikh’s sixth spouse and isn’t the mom of Latifa, later introduced a case in London’s excessive court docket to hunt wardship for her personal two kids, aged 9 and 13, fearing they too can be kidnapped.

Final 12 months, a decide on the household division of London’s Excessive Court docket discovered that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum carried out a “marketing campaign of concern and intimidation” towards Princess Haya.

The court docket decided that the sheikh organized abductions of two of his daughters on three events — together with one from the historic UK metropolis of Cambridge and Princess Latifa in worldwide waters off the coast of India.

Princess Haya, Dubai ruler's wife, seeks court order to prevent child's forced marriage

Andrew McFarlane, the UK’s most senior household decide, established as undeniable fact that Sheika Shamsa, one of many sheikh’s daughters by one other spouse, ran away from her household in the summertime of 2000 whereas visiting the UK. She was later kidnapped and compelled right into a automotive in Cambridge by males working for her father, earlier than being pushed to property owned by the sheikh. There, she was placed on helicopter to Deauville in France after which on a jet again to Dubai.

The opposite daughter, Latifa, had twice tried to flee her Emirati household however was compelled again, as soon as in 2002 from the border of Dubai with Oman, and in 2018 “by an armed commando assault at sea” in worldwide waters close to the coast of India, the decide discovered.

“With respect to each Shamsa and Latifa it’s asserted that following their return to the custody of the daddy’s household they’ve been disadvantaged of their liberty,” the judgement mentioned, discovering the assertion to be true.

CNN reported at the moment that Sheikh Mohammed — the vice chairman and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates — mentioned the court docket’s evaluation was a one-sided account.

“This case issues extremely private and personal issues regarding our kids. The enchantment was made to guard the very best pursuits and welfare of the youngsters. The end result doesn’t defend my kids from media consideration in the way in which that different kids in household proceedings within the UK are protected,” he mentioned in a press release issued by his representatives.

“As a head of presidency, I used to be not in a position to take part within the court docket’s fact-finding course of. This has resulted within the launch of a ‘fact-finding’ judgment which inevitably tells just one aspect of the story. I ask that the media respect the privateness of our kids and don’t intrude into their lives within the UK.”

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