Princess Latifa al Maktoum, who was believed to be held hostage by her father Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, appeared to be on vacation in an Instagram photo posted Sunday.
Sioned Taylor, the princess’s British friend, posted a photo apparently showing the pair at the Madrid airport. “Great European holiday with Latifa. We’re having fun exploring!” the photo’s caption read.
View this post on Instagram
Princess Latifa’s lawyers at Taylor Wessing issued a statement after the publication of the photo, attributing its content to their client.
“I recently visited 3 European countries on holiday with my friend. I asked her to post a few photos online to prove to campaigners that I can travel where I want. I hope now that I can live my life in peace without further media scrutiny. And I thank everyone for their kind wishes,” the statement read, according to The Guardian.
Taylor posted two photos showing the princess in a mall and on the terrace of a Dubai restaurant in late May 2021. This was the first time the public learned of Princess Latifa’s whereabouts since the circulation of her clandestine messages in February. (RELATED: Missing Hostage Princess Appears To Be Getting Coffee At Mall In Bizarre Photo)
Princess Latifa had sent a series of secret video messages to her friends in February 2021, claiming that she had been drugged and forcefully brought to a guarded villa, where she was being detained.
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 alleged 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 claimed. “They also threatened me that I would be in prison my whole life and I’ll never see the sun again.”
The videos sparked a massive outcry online at the time, leading to a number of human rights groups calling on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities to provide proof of life.
In 2018, the princess tried to flee the UAE on a boat with the help of her Finnish friend. Several days after the escape attempt, 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.