UAE says Dubai princess being cared for at home, after video sparks concern

DUBAI • The United Arab Emirates said on Friday that Sheikha Latifa, one of the ruler of Dubai's daughters, was being cared for at home as the UN human rights watchdog asked the UAE for proof that she is alive amid growing international concern about her fate.

The BBC's investigative news programme Panorama on Tuesday published a video it said was of the princess, in which she says she is being held against her will in a barricaded villa.

"Her family has confirmed that Her Highness is being cared for at home, supported by her family and medical professionals," the embassy of the UAE in London said in a statement.

"She continues to improve and we are hopeful she will return to public life at the appropriate time," said the statement, which was passed to Reuters by the UAE's Foreign Ministry.

It also said the media coverage was "not reflective of the actual position" of the princess.

The fate of the 35-year-old princess, and her tempestuous relationship with her father, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, has cast a new spotlight on his family affairs and on an international campaign to free his daughter.

Earlier on Friday in Geneva, spokesman for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Liz Throssell said the United Nations agency had raised its concerns "about the situation in light of the disturbing video evidence that emerged this week".

"We requested more information and clarification about Sheikha Latifa's current situation," she told an online briefing.

"Given the serious concerns about Sheikha Latifa, we have requested that the government's response comes as a matter of priority... We did ask for proof of life," she said, adding that the agency would continue to monitor the situation closely.

Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum drew international attention in 2018 when a human rights group released a video made by her in which she described an attempt to escape Dubai.

Last March, a London High Court judge said he accepted as proven a series of allegations made by the Dubai ruler's former wife, Princess Haya, in a legal battle, including that the sheikh had ordered the abduction of his daughter Latifa. The sheikh's lawyers rejected the allegations.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 21, 2021, with the headline 'UAE says Dubai princess being cared for at home, after video sparks concern'. Subscribe