Photos published on social media appear to show Dubai”s Princess Sheikha Latifa, who has not been seen or heard from for months, alive and well on May 13.
She is the daughter of Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who faces scrutiny for allegations that he violated human rights and orchestrated the disappearance of his own daughter.
Princess Sheikha Latifa said that she was being held against her will, according to video diaries she said were recorded inside a Dubai villa and broadcast by the BBC in February. Sheikha Latifa was detained by commandos in 2018 after she tried to flee Dubai in a yacht.
The princess’ 38-year-old sister, Shamsa, was taken from Cambridge, England, on Aug. 19, 2000, and hasn’t been seen since.
A judge in England ruled last year that Sheikh Mohammed orchestrated both abductions. The sheikh had told the the court he was relieved at having found his “vulnerable” daughter Shamsa after she went missing.
The judge was ruling on a case between Sheikh Mohammed and a different wife, Princess Haya, over their two children. She is the daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan, and married Sheikh Mohammed in 2004. She fled Dubai in 2019 with her two children saying that she was scared of her husband’s threats.
The cases are particularly sensitive in Britain because of economic and historic links to Dubai. Sheikh Mohammed, is vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates.
The United Nations human rights office raised concerns about Latifa’s treatment by the UAE and sought evidence that the princess was still alive. The UAE’s embassy in London has said the princess was being cared for by her family and medical professionals.
Sheikha Latifa’s supporters have urged U.S. President Joe Biden to pressure Sheikh Mohammed to release her, saying Biden is one of the few world leaders with the stature to win her freedom.