The daughter of Dubai’s ruler who tried to flee the country in 2018 has been “held hostage” in a villa surrounded by police, secret videos she sent to her friends claim.
Princess Latifa Al Maktoum made a number of accusations in the videos, which were recorded in the bathroom of the villa due it being “the only door she could lock”.
The footage, obtained by BBC’s Panorama programme, also claims she is a hostage in the villa that has been converted into a jail, policemen patrol the villa with two policewomen inside, and that she is not allowed to go outside for fresh air.
The undated videos were recorded over several months after friends managed to give her a phone about a year after her capture and return to Dubai, according to the BBC.
In one of the clips, she says: “I’m a hostage and this villa has been converted into a jail.”
“I don’t really know if I’m going to survive this situation. The police threatened me that I would be in prison my whole life and I’ll never see the sun again.”
Dubai and the UAE have previously said she is safe in the care of family, according to the BBC.
Latifa’s father, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is one of the richest heads of state in the world, the ruler of Dubai and vice-president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In March last year, the ruler of Dubai abducted two of his daughters before waging a frightening campaign of intimidation and harassment against his ex-wife after she had an affair with a British bodyguard, a judge has found.
The damning High Court ruling followed a protracted bitter child custody battle between Sheikh Al Maktoum’s and his youngest wife, Princess Haya.
Ex-UN rights envoy Mary Robinson, who had described Latifa as a “troubled young woman” after meeting her in 2018, now says she was “horribly tricked” by the princess’s family.
The former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and president of Ireland has joined calls for international action to establish Latifa’s current condition and whereabouts.
“I continue to be very worried about Latifa. Things have moved on. And so I think it should be investigated,” she said.
Latifa’s account of her capture and detention was revealed to Panorama by her close friend Tiina Jauhiainen, maternal cousin Marcus Essabri and campaigner David Haigh, who are all behind the Free Latifa campaign.
They say they have taken the difficult decision to release the messages now out of concern for Latifa’s safety.