Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum, the daughter of Dubai ruler and UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has sent a letter to police in the UK asking them to investigate the alleged kidnapping of her older sister, Princess Shamsa, from Britain in 2000, 21 years ago.
In a new BBC Panorama documentary, Latifa claimed to be held hostage in Dubai in secret video recordings.
She said she was always guarded in a secret house and was told by security operatives she will never see the sun again.
According to her she has been held hostage since 2018 when she tried to flee the country but was arrested while on sea by Navy commandos.
Now in a letter dated 2018 but released on Thursday, February 25, Latifa says the UK should investigate her sister’s alleged kidnap as she has been ‘missing’ since then.
“In the summer of 2000 Shamsa escaped the family vacation house in England. She was 18 years old … and of sound mind,” Princess Latifa, wrote in a letter sent to CNN by her friend David Haigh, a campaigner for her release and part of Detained International, a legal advocacy NGO.
“She was enslaved and oppressed and suffered physical abuse at the hands of family members … She wanted to seek asylum in the UK where she has family permanently living there. After a few months, she was kidnapped … She was dragged from the street kicking and screaming. She was tranquilized and flown back to Dubai,” Latifa wrote in the document dated February 2018.
The princess added her sister was tortured, “kept incommunicado with no release date, trial, or charge.”
“She was tortured by getting her feet caned which is something I experienced myself with my own imprisonment,” she wrote.
“Her ultimate goal is to be an emancipated person, to live with dignity, to have freedom of choice and freedom of movement … She wants the basic rights that all human beings are entitled to,” the princess continued.
The princess said her sister has “strong links to England” and was “abducted in an illegal manner, on UK soil.”
“All I ask of you is to please give attention on her case because it could get her freedom, which is the only thing that she wants in life,” she added.
The letter was obtained and delivered to the police by one of Latifa’s cousins and Haigh.
The botg the of them also submitted a “transcript of a number of video statements from Sheikha Latifa,” which were obtained by “smuggling, with great difficulty and danger, a mobile phone into the Dubai jail of Sheikha Latifa,”
“Contact [with Latifa] was maintained throughout the majority of 2019 and 2020. Contact was lost in the second half of 2020,” Haigh said.
They claims possessing evidence that one British citizen was involved in the kidnapping of Princess Shamsa.
“We were not able to release such evidence previously due to what we believed was an unacceptable risk to the life and safety of Sheikha Latifa. However, now that contact has been lost, we are gravely concerned for her life and safety and decided to take the step to release the evidence obtained,” Haigh added.
Meanwhile the United Arab Emirates embassy in London says
coverage of Latifa’s situation “is not reflective of the actual position”
They claim she is being ‘cared for’ in Dubai.
By Jide N.