Princess Latifa: UN calls on UAE to provide ‘concrete’ proof of life of detained princess

The United Nations has called the United Arab Emirates to provide “concrete” proof that Princess Latifa Al Maktoum, the daughter of Dubai’s ruler reportedly being held in detention, is still alive.

In a statement issued in Geneva on Tuesday, UN human rights experts also said she should be released “urgently”.

Dubai’s royal family has previously said Princess Latifa is safe and being “cared for at home”.

On 5 March, the UN said it was still awaiting further details from the UAE, two weeks after an initial request for proof of life.

On Tuesday, the United Nations experts called on the government of the UAE once again to “provide meaningful information” on Princess Latifa’s fate “without delay”.

They asked for “independent verification of the conditions under which she is being held, and for her immediate release”.

“The statement issued by the Emirates authorities’ merely indicating that she was being ‘cared for at home’ is not sufficient at this stage,” the statement said.

It added: “We are alarmed that, following the public release in February of footage in which Sheikha Latifa reported being deprived of her liberty against her will, and the subsequent official request for further information on her situation, no concrete information has been provided by the authorities.”

What Happened?

Princess Latifa is the daughter of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is one of the richest heads of state in the world, the ruler of Dubai and vice-president of the UAE.

In February 2018 Princess Latifa attempted to flee Dubai to start a new life.

“I’m not allowed to drive, I’m not allowed to travel or leave Dubai at all,” she said in a video recorded just before her escape.

But days later, the princess says she was captured by commandos on a boat in the Indian Ocean. She was flown back to Dubai, where she has remained ever since.

Her father said he was acting in her best interest.

“Sheikha Latifa continues to improve and we are hopeful she will return to public life at the appropriate time,” a statement from Dubai’s royal family last month said.

Princess Latifa recorded a number of videos over several months in secret after her capture. She claims she is being held alone without access to medical or legal help in a villa with windows and doors barred shut, and guarded by police.