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Kidnapped Dubai Princess Resurfaces

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Princess Sheikha Latifa Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Screenshot from a video made by the princess before she was kidnapped)
Princess Sheikha Latifa Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Screenshot from a video made by the princess before she was kidnapped)

Pictures have surfaced of Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum, the daughter of Dubai’s ruler, who was kidnapped by Indian and Emirates forces after attempting to escape the country last March.

The pictures were released by the United Arab Emirates and show Latifa in the presence of Mary Robinson, the former Irish president and former UN human rights commissioner.

In the pictures, Latifa is either looking away from the camera or towards Robinson.

According to a video made by Latifa right before she was kidnapped (see below), she was fleeing from years of torture and imprisonment at the hands of her father, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, prime minister and vice president of the United Arab Emirates and the ruler of the Emirate of Dubai.

Latifa is one of the Emirati’s billionaire ruler’s 30 children.  She went missing on March 4, 2018.

Before her kidnapping, Latifa made a video which was was uploaded to YouTube by her attorney who was instructed to do so in the case of her death or disappearance.

The video expresses her desire to escape the UAE and her concerns that, if it is being shown, she and her friends are in danger or dead.

In the video, Latifa also describes the failed escape attempt by her older sister Shamsa and a previous escape attempt she made in 2002. After being captured, she relates how she was tortured and imprisoned for more than three years. She states that her father and his men are responsible for the murders of family members and as well as countless others.

“There remains very serious concerns as to her state of health and whether she continues to be detained against her will. These serious questions remain unanswered,” said Guernica 37, a UK legal group which filed an urgent communication with the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (UN WGEID) regarding Latifa last May.

Months after the raid on the boat in which Latifa was attempting to flee, the Al Maktoum family released a statement saying that the boat’s captain, French-American former naval intelligence officer Hervé Jaubert, who himself had escaped  from the UAE in 2008 after being charged with corruption, was holding Latifa for $100 million ransom.

In her last video made before the raid on the boat, Latifa states she is looking forward to having freedom and choices. “I have no reason to come back here,” she said.

A Finnish woman, Tina Jauhianinen, who describes herself as the princess’ closest friend and who was on the boat with Latifa, posted online a chronicle of the events of the kidnapping even though she said she was threatened by UAE officials to keep quiet.

Jauhianinen and Jaubert were both initially detained in the raid but later released.

 

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org