Mary Robinson ‘horribly tricked’ over alleged hostage of Dubai's Princess Latifa
Feb 16 2021
She was then brought back to the Emirates by Dubai's ruler, the UAE's prime minister and vice president Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Several of Princess Latifa's friends are now urging the United Nations to step in and ensure her wellbeing through the Free Latifa campaign, as the video messages have stopped coming. "This villa has been converted into jail. My life is not in my hands".
David Pannick, a lawyer in London representing Sheikh Mohammed in the legal battle with Princess Haya, said: "As one of the lawyers in current legal proceedings, I can not comment".
"I have been here ever since, for more than a year in solitary confinement", she says in videos shared with the BBC. "No access to medical help, no trial, no charge, nothing". "I am being taken hostage and this mansion has been turned into a prison", said the 35-year-old princess in this video taken from the toilet on a cell phone because "it's the only room with one Door that I can lock ".
The BBC's investigative news programme Panorama on Tuesday published a video it said was of Sheikha Latifa, one of the rulers of Dubai's daughters, saying that she was being held against her will in a barricaded villa, reports Reuters.
Haya claimed her relationship with Sheikh Mohammed completely broke down in 2019, soon after she started visiting her step-daughter Latifa and asking about Shamsa.
The princess, who had previously tried to flee Dubai in 2002 only to then be returned forcibly, used the messages to give her first account of how her attempt to leave Dubai in 2018 was again thwarted after she managed to leave the city on a jet ski with the aid of Finnish martial arts instructor and friend Tiina Jauhiainen. She cried for a long time.
Sheikha Latifa has not been seen in public since she attempted to escape from the Emirate by sea in March 2018.
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.
Ms Robinson told Panorama she and Princess Haya had earlier been presented with details of Latifa's bipolar disorder, a condition she does not have.
She said she did not ask Latifa about her situation because she did not want to "increase the trauma" of Latifa's "condition".
It is unclear if Princess Latifa is still in the beachside villa.
"This woman is imprisoned and has no permitted contact with the world", Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, told the BBC. I've been by myself, solitary confinement.
In 2019, the tensions within Dubai's ruling family were laid bare before England's High Court after one of the sheikh's wives, Princess Haya, fled to the United Kingdom with two of her children and applied for a protection order and non-molestation order against the sheikh.