Dubai's Princess Latifa Says She Is Being Held Against Her Will in Secret Video: 'I'm a Hostage'
New videos were released Tuesday that raised international concern for Dubai's Princess Latifa.
Latifa, who tried to leave the country in 2018 but was forcibly taken back, speaks out in cell phone video footage smuggled to her friends. The videos, obtained by the BBC, were reportedly taken over the past two years. It's not clear exactly when each clip included was filmed.
"I'm doing this video from a bathroom because it's the only room with a door I can lock," the princess, 35, said in the chilling footage, describing a villa-turned-jail that she was being kept in.
"I'm a hostage and this villa has been converted into a jail. All the windows are barred shut. I can't open any window."
Latifa added that there are several police officers guarding her day and night, and that they have threatened her by saying she will be in prison "my whole life and I'll never see the sun again."
"I don't know when I'll be released and what the conditions will be like when I'm released," she said in another clip included in the new footage. "Every day I am worried about my safety and my life, I don't really know if I'm going to survive this situation."
In 2018, Latifa attempted to leave the UAE in a plan with French businessman Hervé Jaubert and her friend Tiina Jauhiainen, The Guardian reported. Eight days into the voyage, when the vessel was off the coast of India, Indian soldiers stormed the yacht and Latifa was returned home.
She said in the new videos that she was tranquilized and taken back to Dubai on a private jet against her will, the BBC reported. Jaubert and Jauhiainen were released after being detained in the UAE for two weeks, according to The Guardian's report.
Latifa was last seen in December of that year when she was photographed with former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, the New York Times reported. Robinson told the BBC Tuesday that she had been "horribly tricked" by Latifa's family into thinking she was safe at the time.
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"I continue to be very worried about Latifa. Things have moved on. And so I think it should be investigated," said Robinson, who is also the former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The UN's Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances is meant to review Latifa's case in its current session, the New York Times reported.
Throughout the years, Latifa's family has maintained that she is safe at home. Her father is Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and UAE vice president.
"I am really reaching a point now where I'm just getting so tired of everything," Latifa said in the footage released Tuesday. "It's like a circus."
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