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In Movies, Dubai Princess Says She Is a ‘Hostage’

CAIRO — Since 2018, when Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum, one of many daughters of the ruler of Dubai, disappeared after making an attempt to flee her privileged however suffocating life in a royal palace, her mates have insisted she was hauled again to Dubai in opposition to her will and was being held incommunicado.

On Tuesday, they produced video proof.

Contradicting her household’s insistence that she has been quietly having fun with time with them at residence the previous two years, Sheikha Latifa says in a collection of movies launched by her advocates that she is “a hostage” and fears for her life.

“Each day, I’m anxious about my security in my life. I don’t actually know if I’m going to outlive this example,” Sheikha Latifa stated in a single self-recorded video, based on a transcript supplied by an advocate engaged on her case, David Haigh.

“The police threaten me that they might take me outdoors and shoot me if I didn’t cooperate with them,” she stated. “In addition they threatened me that I’d be in jail my complete life and I’ll by no means see the solar once more.”

The sheikha’s case stirred outrage outdoors the United Arab Emirates after studies emerged in worldwide media that she had tried to flee Dubai on a yacht piloted by a Frenchman claiming to be an ex-spy, just for a crew of Indian and Emirati commandos to grab the vessel, detain everybody on board and fly her again to Dubai.

In a video recorded earlier than her flight, she stated that she needed to go away due to the restrictions her father, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, had placed on her: Banned from touring outdoors Dubai, she was adopted by minders all over the place she went within the city-state her father dominated.

After the 2018 episode, Sheikha Latif was nearly unseen in public once more.

By means of a lot of that point, nevertheless, she was secretly recording movies from contained in the villa the place she was held, Mr. Haigh stated, normally locking herself in a rest room, the one place she had privateness. After first speaking with mates through letters, she switched to a telephone that mates had smuggled to her, sending common updates between early 2019 and late 2020, Mr. Haigh stated.

In them, based on the transcripts, she stated she was being held in a villa that had been successfully transformed right into a jail, with home windows that had been barred shut. 5 law enforcement officials stood guard outdoors, she stated, and two feminine officers inside.

Her tried flight in 2018 was minimize quick, Sheikha Latifa stated, when commandos stormed the yacht, threw her to the deck, zip-tied her as she tried to battle them off and injected her with tranquilizers. After she was taken again to Dubai by helicopter and personal jet, she stated, she was interrogated for 2 weeks and held in solitary confinement in a jail close to the airport.

A few of the new movies had been first revealed by the BBC on Tuesday. Whereas they might not be independently verified, Mr. Haigh stated in an interview that he had ready them for launch. Her household couldn’t be reached for remark.

Earlier than Tuesday, the one current glimpse of Sheikha Latifa had are available December 2018, after she was introduced again to Dubai. Her household launched photographs of her sitting uneasily with Mary Robinson, a former president of Eire and former United Nations human rights commissioner.

Ms. Robinson stated on the time that she believed the sheikha was mentally troubled and recovering within the care of her household. However she has now informed the BBC that she felt she had been “tricked” when pictures of what she had assumed was a non-public lunch had been made public.

Sheikha Latifa stated in one of many movies that she had been coaxed into coming to lunch by Princess Haya, one in all her father’s wives, however had not identified who Ms. Robinson was, what the lunch was for, or why her stepmother insisted on taking an image of her with Ms. Robinson. She solely agreed “to be well mannered,” she stated.

As for Ms. Robinson’s feedback on the time, Sheikha Latifa stated in a single video that “statements about me being with my household or getting therapy or being in restoration is all a lie.”

Her household repeatedly insisted that she make what she referred to as “propaganda,” she stated.

“They needed me to do a video and say that I’m right here fortunately and voluntarily. And I refused,” she stated in a single video, based on a transcript.

Princess Haya, too, has come to assist her stepdaughter’s model of occasions. In courtroom paperwork filed in Britain final 12 months after the princess left Dubai together with her younger youngsters and filed for divorce from the sheikh, she stated each Sheikha Latifa and one of many sheikha’s sisters had been harshly punished for making an attempt to flee prior to now.

By late 2020, the movies from Sheikha Latifa had stopped coming, Mr. Haigh stated, prompting him and Tiina Jauhiainen, a Finnish capoeira teacher who accompanied the sheikha on the yacht, to launch them.

They had been additionally timed to land because the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances holds a session on the sheikha’s case.

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