A photograph of Princess Latifa al Maktoum, who was thought to be held hostage by her father Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, appears to show her in a mall with two friends, Saturday reports show.
The photo, which appears to have been taken at the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, was posted by Princess Latifa’s friend on her private Instagram page, according to Sky News.
The face masks on the table suggest that the photo is fairly recent, making it the first known public appearance of the 35-year-old princess since 2018, according to The Daily Mail.
A photo that appears to show Princess Latifa is alive has been posted online and shared with Sky News.
It is the first time she has been seen in public since secret video messages were released to Sky News in February https://t.co/phCIop8rEy
— Sky News (@SkyNews) May 22, 2021
In 2018, the princess tried to flee the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on a boat with the help of her Finnish friend. Eight days later, the Emirati forces boarded her boat and brought Princess Latifa back to Dubai, in what her father referred to as a “rescue mission,” according to Middle East Eye.
The princess sent a series of secret video messages to her friends in February 2021, claiming she had been drugged and forcefully brought to a guarded villa, where she was being detained. (RELATED: Human Rights Watch Demands Proof Of Life For Dubai Princess Who Claimed To Be Held Hostage)
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
“I am a hostage and this villa has been converted into a jail,” Princess Latifa said in one of the videos.
“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.”
The videos spurred various organizations and human rights groups, including the United Nations and Human Rights Watch to call on the UAE government to present proof of life at the time.
Her father has continuously denied the allegations of mistreatment, saying that Princess Latifa is safe and well, Sky News reported.