Written byNewsBytes Desk
One of the daughters of Dubai's ruler has been missing ever since her hideout boat was intercepted by UAE commandos in the Arabian Sea last month.
Fed up with living a restricted, monitored life with no personal freedom, Latifa tried to flee UAE with a former French spy's help.
Here's all about her desperate escape attempt and her mysterious kidnap.
Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum is one of the 30 children that Dubai's billionaire ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum reportedly has with his six wives.
At 33, it was her second attempt to escape from Dubai, which she claims she hadn't left since 2000. She was caught the last time too by her father's men, imprisoned and abused for years.
Right before fleeing, Latifa recorded her testimony in a 40-minute video. She gave it to the ex-spy Herve Jaubert who helped her leave UAE and urged 'Detained in Dubai', a London-based for-hire advocacy group, to release it if it her escape attempt fails.
Since her kidnap from her boat, 'Detained in Dubai' has released the video and has been promoting her case.
In the video, Latifa narrates her reasons for leaving her 68-year-old father's suffocating autocracy.
"I don't have the freedom that people have. Freedom of choice is not something we have. I am looking forward to a better life, a start of new chapter," she said.
She signed off by saying, "If I don't make it out, I hope that some change will come."
With some friends and Jaubert's help, Latifa could make it as far as 380 kilometers southwest of Mumbai in the Arabian sea when her sailboat was allegedly intercepted by three Indian and two Emirati warships on March 4.
According to Jaubert, the commandos beat him, his crew and forcefully took away Latifa. "She was taken away kicking and screaming," he told the AP.
Jaubert claims it took Latifa eight years to decide to flee a second time after the horrors post her first unsuccessful attempt. She was seeking a political asylum in the US.
She has reportedly been taken back to the UAE but the last anyone saw of her was on the sailboat, being forcefully taken away from living a life she had risked everything for.
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