Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has demanded the ruler of Dubai provides proof that his daughter Princess Latifa is alive and well after a video surfaced of her alleging she was being held captive.
Dominic Raab told Sky News on Wednesday, 17 February, the video was “deeply troubling” and added: “Given what we've just seen, I think people would just at a human level want to see that she's alive and well.”
Mr Raab told the BBC: “When there's a human rights issue or a very sensitive case we do not shirk our responsibilities.”
When you think of Dubai, don't let the high rises and its playground reputation obscure the fact that it is ruled by this man, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, who has locked up his daughter, Princess Latifa, for wanting to escape from his control. https://t.co/4XbqeL2KDA pic.twitter.com/rRKYTQTDaQ— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) February 17, 2021
But he said the British government would not immediately impose sanctions on Dubai, which is part of the United Arab Emirates, and pointed out there was a “strict legal threshold" for sanctions.
Princess Latifa, who is 35, reportedly tried to flee the United Arab Emirates in 2018 but was supposedly captured and returned to her family home.
Her stepmother Princess Haya Bint al-Hussain fled to London in 2019 with her two children.
The BBC has broadcast a secretly recorded video of Princess Latifa in which she claims she is being held “hostage” in a villa and fears for her life.
The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has said it would be seeking answers from the UAE about the princess.
UNHCR spokesman Rupert Colville told the BBC: "We will certainly raise these new developments with the UAE. Other parts of the UN human rights system with relevant mandates may also become involved once they have analysed the new material."
Neither the UAE government or 71-year-old Sheikh Mohammed have commented publicly on the video but in 2018 the UAE said she was “at home and living with her family in Dubai" and published photographs of her having dinner with Mary Robinson, a former Irish President and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
In the video - which has not been independently verified - the princess claims: "I am a hostage and this villa has been converted into a jail. All the windows are barred shut, I can't open any window."
In March 2020 a High Court judge in London accepted as proved a series of allegations made by Princess Haya, including that he had ordered Latifa’s abduction after she tried to flee the country.