Dubai princess says fears for life as held 'hostage'

Princess Latifa daughter of the Emir of Dubai

Princess Latifa, daughter of the Emir of Dubai, who tried unsuccessfully to flee the Gulf city-state in 2018, says she is being held as a "hostage" in videos broadcast by the BBC and fearing for her life. Robinson appeared in photos with Latifa published by Emirati officials after the sheikha's return to Dubai in 2018.

It is the latest development in a years-long string of headline-grabbing stories involving Dubai's ruling family and its patriarch, Sheikh Mohammed.

It was her second failed attempt to flee overseas after she previously tried to leave the UAE in 2002 as a teenager.

Sheikha Latifa previously accused her father of kidnapping and imprisoning her and her other sister Sheikha Shamsa who was kidnapped from the United Kingdom in 2000, in rejection of their decisions to lead independent lives.

Haya claimed her relationship with Sheikh Mohammed completely broke down in 2019, soon after she started visiting her step-daughter Latifa and asking about Shamsa. All the windows are barred shut.

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

Ms Robinson, a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has joined in calls for immediate worldwide action in order to establish Princess Latifa's current condition and whereabouts.

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Ms Robinson said: "I was particularly tricked when the photographs went public". "Haya began to explain that Latifa had quite a serious bipolar problem".

Dr Robinson told the programme she did not ask Latifa about her situation because she did not want to "increase the trauma" of her "condition".

She added: "I mean, that was a total surprise, I was absolutely stunned".

According to information, Tiina Jauhiainen, a former employee of the Dubai royal family has been scamming people with the active collaboration of David Haigh [a convicted fraud] under the false pretext of running efforts for "saving" Princess Latifa.

It is unclear if Princess Latifa is still in the beachside villa. "I am being taken hostage and this mansion has been turned into a prison", said the 35-year-old princess in this video taken from the toilet on a cell phone because "it's the only room with one Door that I can lock ".

Kenneth Roth, executive director of advocacy group Human Rights Watch, called on the UAE government to put an end to the case. "It's psychologically devastating. Solitary confinement of that sort is broadly considered to be a form of torture, as it becomes prolonged in the way this has".

In 2019, the tensions within Dubai's ruling family were laid bare before England's High Court after one of the sheikh's wives, Princess Haya, fled to the United Kingdom with two of her children and applied for a protection order and non-molestation order against the sheikh. The police have threatened me, telling me that I am going to spend the rest of my life locked up and that I will never see sunlight again, "he says in another of the video clips. I am not safe here".

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