First she was spotted in Madrid, now in Iceland: Photos on the net suggest that Princess Latifa is now living in freedom. Your supporters see their goals achieved. But there are still doubts about the story.
A new alleged photo of Princess Latifa in Iceland is once again fueling speculation about whether the daughter of the Emir of Dubai is finally living in freedom. The picture published on Instagram is said to show the woman, who has been held against her will by the family for years, with a friend from Great Britain and her cousin.
He then reported about an “emotional reunion” with his relatives. “It was comforting to see her so happy, healthy and focused on her future plans,” wrote Marcus Essabri on Twitter. There was initially no independent confirmation that Latifa can actually be seen in the photo.
Latifa’s supporters nevertheless decided after the meeting to end the liberation campaign for the princess. The goal – to enable a self-chosen life for the Sheikha – has been achieved, according to the website of the Free Latifa campaign.
Blinding the public?
But there remain doubts as to whether the hint of a smile on Latifa’s face in the picture really shows an expression of joy at her newfound freedom. So far the princess has not spoken up herself. So there is so far no evidence that she acts of her own free will.
The public has already been blinded to the 35-year-old. Former Irish President Mary Robinson described Latifa as a “troubled young woman” after an encounter in Dubai. She later regretted her statement – and also not having been more vigilant for the princess’ situation.
Robinson, who was temporarily the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, had been made credible that Latifa had bipolar disorder. She was “naive”, admitted Robinson. Now she believes the princess “100 percent”. Latifa’s family again cited the encounter as evidence that the princess was not being held captive against her will.
Possible trip to Spain in June
David Haigh, a co-founder of the Liberation Campaign for Latifa, recently told the UK media that he felt it was right to view current developments “with the utmost caution” and to monitor the situation closely.
As early as June, a photo was circulating on social media that allegedly shows the Sheikha at Madrid airport. Even then, there was no independent confirmation that Latifa was actually in the picture. However, their supporters rated the alleged trip to Spain as a positive development. You apparently have a passport, can travel and enjoy an increasing degree of freedom, said the Free Latifa campaign at the time.
The abducted Sheikha
Latifa is a daughter of Sheikh Mohammed bin Raschid al-Maktum, Emir of Dubai and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates. Human rights activists expressed concern after her attempt to escape in 2018, during which she was stopped and forcibly returned to Dubai. In video messages, the princess said she was being held in a villa like a prison. The ruling family of Dubai, however, said that Latifa would be cared for by her family and medical staff. The UN human rights office requested a meeting with Latifa to investigate their situation. But that has not happened to this day.
Mohammed bin Raschid al-Maktum, Emir of Dubai: He had kidnapped his two daughters. (Source: Christopher Pike / Reuters)
A court in London found in a custody battle with his ex-wife Princess Haja last year that the Emir of Dubai had kidnapped Latifa and her older sister. Shamsa was abducted from Cambridge to Dubai in 2000 after trying to break away. In the Latifas case, the judge also found the portrayal of her house arrest as torture with the deprivation of daylight and sleep to be credible.
Princess Haja, in turn, had fled to London to avoid the emir’s grasp. She said she was threatened with death – also because she had expressed concern about the treatment of her ex-husband’s two daughters. This always denied the allegations.