Dubai princess claims she is being held 'hostage' in secret video recordings

  • Dubai princess claims she is being held 'hostage' in secret video recordings

Dubai princess claims she is being held 'hostage' in secret video recordings

The sheikha, who tried to escape from her family in 2018, has been sending clandestine recordings to several friends who accuse her father of holding her against her will and have now shared them with the British network.

Since then, she has been isolated in a chalet, without medical or of another type, guarded by two policewomen inside the house and five more agents outside.

She added: "Every day I am anxious about my safety and my life".

She said she was aware a photo was being taken of the encounter, as proof that Latifa was alive, but was not aware it would be published. "This villa has been converted into jail. I can't even go outside to get any fresh air", she says.

Sky News reported that it had also received the videos but had been unable to contact Latifa for the last nine months.

Panorama identifies the friends who have provided the videos as her maternal cousin Marcus Essabri, Tiina Jauhiainen, the Finnish coach who accompanied her in his escape, and activist David Haigh.

The BBC said the authorities in Dubai and the UAE had failed to respond to requests to comment on the princess's current condition.

Princess Latifa's father is Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and vice-president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Sheikh Mohammed is the founder of the successful Godolphin horse-racing stable and on friendly terms with Queen Elizabeth.

Panorama has obtained secret video messages showing Latifa being held against her will back home.

In 2018, Latifa al-Maktoum announced in a video posted on YouTube that she wanted to flee her country.

Panorama has independently verified the details of where Latifa was held.

In 2018, Latifa attempted to flee the UAE on a boat that was then intercepted by commandos off the coast of India, according to her companions and the UK-based group Detained in Dubai. I don't know what they're planning to do with me.

"I was up against a lot of people with weapons".

Appearing alert and speaking calmly, Latifa said in the video that there were police officers stationed outside and inside the villa.

Robinson, the former president of Ireland, who has said she met with Latifa to help Princess Haya with a "family dilemma", was criticised for telling BBC Radio 4 after the meeting that Latifa was a "troubled young woman" who regretted fleeing from her family, and that they were taking good care of her.

Giving her reaction to the latest footage, Ms Robinson said: "I continue to be very anxious about Latifa".

In 2019, Sheikh Mohammed's ex-wife, Haya Bint Al Hussein, fled to London, where she applied for a forced marriage protection order relating to their school-age children.

In an incendiary ruling a year ago, the High Court in London made a ruling of fact that Sheikh Maktoum, 71, had "ordered and orchestrated" both occasions on which the princess has been kidnapped and held against her will.

Judge Andrew McFarlane also ruled that both Latifa and her sister Sheikha Shamsa, the emir's daughters from a previous marriage, had been forcibly returned to Dubai.