In a disturbing new video, the frightened daughter of the ruler of Dubai is seen pleading for support while being held “hostage” by her father. The unsettling footage was made public after the princess’s followers lost communication with her.
Princess Latifa Al Maktoum asked for help in hushed tones in a series of secretive videos recorded on a phone that was apparently sneaked into her villa “prison” in the Kingdom, according to the Free Latifah support group.
“I’m a hostage and this villa has been converted into a jail,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s daughter announced in one of the clips provided by the BBC.
She filmed herself in a bathroom “because this is the only room with a door I can lock,” she explained.
“There are five policemen outside and two policewomen inside the house, and I can’t even go outside to get any fresh air,” 35-year-old Latifa continued before describing that her windows have been “barred shut.”
“Every day I am worried about my safety and my life. I don’t really know if I’m going to survive this situation.
“The police threatened me that I’ll be in prison my whole life and I’ll never see the sun again,” she outlined in the series of videos published by the BBC.
Free Latifah explains that the princess is one of about 30 children of 71-year-old Sheikh Mohammed, who is the current prime minister and vice president in the monarchy of the UAE.
She has allegedly been held against her will since her father caught her trying to take a boat to India as she tried to escape Dubai in 2018, according to Free Latifah.
After her followers lost contact with her last year, they opted to release her mysterious recordings, they explained.
“Now the communication with Latifa has been broken, we are gravely worried for her safety and believe this was the right time to release to the media some of the videos Latifa sent us,” expressed her cousin Marcus Essabri.
Officials in Dubai stressed the position that the princess is safe and with her family.
However, former president of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson acknowledged that she had been “tricked” into assisting that narrative when she had her picture taken with the princess during her trip to Dubai in 2018.
Robinson said to the BBC that it was explained to her that Latifa was bipolar and did not question her situation further because she was afraid she would “increase the trauma” of her “condition.”
“I was particularly tricked when the photographs went public” is how she now describes the photos used to “prove” Latifa was fine.
“That was a total surprise … I was absolutely stunned,” Robinson added.
Free Latifah has asked President Biden to step in and called for people to boycott the Kingdom.
“We need tourists to decide not to go to Dubai, and we need the world’s leaders to force Sheikh Mohammed to end this grotesque charade and put an end to a horrendous period of parental and human rights abuse that has disgusted the world,” emphasized the princess’s lawyer, David Haigh, who is also a founder of the support group.
This is not the first time Sheikh Mohammed has been accused of abuse.
In 2020, a British judge decided the sheikh had led a crusade of fear and harassment against his former wife and ordered the kidnapping of two of his daughters, one of them being Sheikha Latifa.
The ruling came down in a courtroom battle between Sheikh Mohammed and his ex-wife Princess Haya, daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan, regarding the wellbeing of their two children.
The government’s Dubai Media Office has not immediately responded to requests for comments on the ongoing situation, the Associated Press reported.