Is the missing Emirati princess alive? UN seeks proof
The UN Human Rights Office said on Friday that it has asked the United Arab Emirates for evidence that an Emirati princess held against her will for almost three years is still alive. The Geneva-based Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said the case of Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum was raised with the UAE's mission to the UN on Thursday.
Latifa had tried to flee Dubai but was caught
Earlier this week, the BBC released excerpts from video diaries Latifa said were recorded in a locked bathroom inside the Dubai villa where she was being held. She was detained from international waters off India in 2018 after she tried to flee Dubai on a yacht. "We did ask for proof of life," said Elizabeth Throssell, a spokeswoman for the UN Human Rights.
UN raised concerns after disturbing video emerged
"We raised our concerns about the situation in light of the disturbing video evidence that emerged this week," Throssell told reporters, adding that they requested more information and clarification about Sheikha Latifa's current situation.
Her friends haven't heard from her in six months
Friends of the princess say they are concerned for her safety because she hasn't been heard since she stopped responding to text messages six months ago. The 35-year-old princess is the daughter of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the hereditary ruler of Dubai who also serves as Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates.
Response sought from UAE on priority
Throssell stressed that it was standard practice for the UN Human Rights Office to inquire about individual cases within its mandate. That includes cases for whatever reason that have attracted wider focus. "Given the serious concerns about Sheikha Latifa, we have requested that the government's response comes as a matter of priority," she added. We look forward to receiving and considering this response.
Her family asserts she is being cared for at home
The UAE Embassy in London issued a statement on behalf of Latifa's family, saying media coverage of her situation certainly is not reflective of the actual position. Her family confirmed that Latifa is being cared for at home, supported by them and medics. She continues to improve and we are hopeful she will return to public life at the appropriate time, the statement said.
Latifa's case was previously raised by independent rights experts
The case of Sheikha Latifa was previously raised by independent rights experts appointed by the global body. In December, the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances reported that it had decided to examine the case of Sheikha Latifa, who is reportedly being held in incommunicado detention at her family home in Dubai.Share this timeline