İrem UZUN -TDO- Princess Latifa, daughter of the ruler of Dubai- Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, has used a smuggled phone to send a series of secret video messages taken over the past two years claiming she was being held hostage in a locked villa surrounded by police. She tried to flee the emirate in 2018 but was forcibly returned.
"I'm a hostage. This villa has been converted into jail. All the windows are barred shut, I can't open any window ... I've been by myself, solitary confinement. No access to medical help, no trial, no charge, nothing," the princess said. Latifa's friend, Tiina Jauhiainen, told the BBC that she helped sneak Latifa the phone that the videos were recorded on, but the messages have recently stopped and she is deeply concerned for her friend. "She is so pale, she hasn't seen sunlight for months. She can basically move just from her room to the kitchen and back," she said. Latifa, 35, traveled to international waters to board a boat owned by French businessman Harve Jaubert in February 2018, before the boat was boarded by commandos off the coast of India and she was returned to Dubai. After the 2018 escape attempt, former United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson visited Latifa, saying later that she was "troubled" and "regretted" her attempts to escape.
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said the case of Princess Latifa is "concerning" and the pictures of her are "very distressing", adding that people want to see that "she is alive and well". The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has also said it would soon question the UAE about Princess Latifa. "We will certainly raise these new developments with the UAE," spokesman Rupert Colville said.