Princess Latifa says she is detained in Dubai

Wednesday, 17 Feb, 2021

In footage broadcast by Panorama, Princess Latifa said she has been held against her will in a barricaded villa since her father sent commandos to forcibly bring her back to Dubai in 2018.

Maktoum later described the action as a "rescue mission" and suggested that those who had helped his daughter in her escape bid, including Jauhiainen and French businessman Hervé Jaubert, were trying to extort money from his family.

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

She said she had secretly filmed herself in a bathroom at the villa which was the only room she could lock herself into.

"All windows are locked (...), there are five policemen outside and two policewomen inside", added Mohammed ben Rached al-Maktoum's daughter. "Every day I am anxious about my safety, and the police threaten me that I will never see the sun again". I am imprisoned in this jail. "I just want to be free", she says.

In another video to be shown in the documentary, Latifa says: "I have been here ever since, for more than a year in solitary confinement".

Sky News reported that it had also received the videos but had been unable to contact Latifa for the last nine months.

The video messages were shared with the BBC by Tiina Jauhiainen, a close friend and former capoeira instructor of the princess who played a crucial role in the 2018 escape attempt.

Both the emir and princess are known to be friendly with Queen Elizabeth II.

She flew to Dubai in December 2018 at the request of her friend, Princess Haya, for a lunch at which Latifa was also present.

In the videos, Latifa said she fought back against the soldiers who attempted to take her off of the boat and was ultimately tranquilized and placed onto a private jet where she did not awaken until landing in Dubai.

In February 2018, Latifa's attempt to flee the UAE accompanied by her Finnish friend Tiina Jauhiainen along with the former French intelligence officer Hervé Jaubert failed, as an Emirati military unit brought her back from worldwide waters near the Indian coast.

"I was holding onto the yacht". I don't know what they're planning to do with me.

"I was up against a lot of people with weapons".

While the Governments of Dubai and the UAE previously said she is safe in the care of her family, they have not responded to the fresh footage of the princess. "No access to medical help, no trial, no charge, nothing", she said.

Latifa's friends had hoped that the court case in March previous year that ruled against Sheikh Mohammed, calling him "not honest" and in favour of Princess Haya, might help.

Last year, a British judge ruled that Sheikh Mohammed, the emir of Dubai, was keeping Latifa and another daughter, Shamsa, captive, and had waged a harassment campaign against his former wife, Princess Haya bint Hussein, the half-sister of King Abdullah II of Jordan.

The court determined the sheikh organised abductions of two of his daughters on three occasions - including one from the historic United Kingdom city of Cambridge, and Princess Latifa in worldwide waters off the coast of India.