Human Rights Watch is calling for proof of life for Princess Latifa, the 33-year-old daughter of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai.
Princess Latifa claims she is currently being held hostage by her family after she attempted to flee the United Arab Emirates (UAE) back in 2018, according to USA Today. “I am a hostage and this villa has been converted into a jail,” Latifa said in a cell phone video obtained by the outlet.
“The police threaten me that they would take me outside and shoot me if I didn’t cooperate with them,” she explained. “They also threatened me that I would be in prison my whole life and I’ll never see the sun again.” (RELATED: UAE Princess Held Hostage By Dubai Ruler Sends Secret Messages To Friends Detailing Conditions)
Her family has denied any wrongdoing in her detainment and claims she is absolutely fine, USA Today reported. British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab has called on the princess’s family to provide proof that she is “alive and well.”
Others have echoed his demands for proof of life.
Princess Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum appears in a video filmed in a barricaded villa in Dubai where she says she is being held against her will. pic.twitter.com/lroBjmqbQP
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) February 18, 2021
“The likelihood is her family has found out she’s been using a phone to communicate and they’ve either killed her or she’s in a situation far worse than before,” said Toby Cadman, a human rights lawyer connected to her case, according to USA Today.
Latifa’s current attorney, Rodney Dixon QC, has asked the United Nations (UN) and the international community to secure his client’s safety, according to Euronews.
“The United Nations has direct access to the UAE authorities as one of the member states. They should immediately look to contact them, have the necessary meetings to sort this out and resolve it and make sure we know where the princess is, that she can be released and that she’s able to travel,” he said.
A UN source told Euronews that “there are a number of specialised independent mechanisms that would be looking at this.”
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will also question the UAE about Latifa’s status, according to USA Today.