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Dubai Princess Says Held Hostage in Barricaded Villa, Fears for Her Life

Dubai Princess Says Held Hostage in Barricaded Villa, Fears for Her Life
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By Staff, Agencies

In a video broadcast by the BBC’s investigative news program Panorama on February 16, 2021, Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum, one of Dubai ruler's daughters, said she is being held captive and fears for her life after a foiled attempt to flee.

The daughter of the ruler of Dubai and premier of the United Arab Emirates [UAE], who tried once to flee her home country but was forcibly returned, has secretly recorded a series of videos, saying she is being held against her will at a barricaded villa.

“I am a hostage and this villa has been converted into a jail,” 35-year-old Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum, one of the daughters of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said in one of the videos broadcast by the BBC’s Panorama news program on Tuesday.

She added, “All the windows are barred shut, I can’t open any window.”

The UAE princess said she was making the video in the bathroom of the villa, which is the only room she could lock herself into.

Appearing alert and speaking calmly, Latifa said there were police officers stationed outside and inside the villa. “I just want to be free,” she noted.

It was not clear when or where the video was recorded.

The Free Latifa campaign, which has lobbied for her release, said it had managed to smuggle a phone to the UAE princess, helping her record videos from the villa over several months.

David Haigh, one of the campaign’s co-founders and her lawyer, called for Latifa’s immediate release and an end to “a horrendous period of parental and human rights abuse that has significantly damaged the reputation of the UAE.”