An image released on Instagram this week appears to represent Princess Latifa, controversial daughter of the Dubai ruler. Latifa has not been heard of for months.
A disputed covert video testimony from the Emirati Princess was published last February. In the video, recorded in the restroom in fear of the guardians, the princess said she was imprisoned and unaware of what is awaiting her.
A close friend verified that the princess in the photo is really her. It is believed that the appearance of the photo is not an accident and must be analyzed in conjunction with other secret events.
“We confirm that there have been several potentially significant and positive developments in the campaign. We do not intend to comment further at this stage, a further statement will be issued at the appropriate time,” asserted David Haigh of the Free Latifa campaign in London.
The United Nations avoided to comment on the photo, but emphasized that the follow-up of the fate of Latifa will be kept on until convincing outcome. Last April, the UN demanded that the United Arab Emirates present “solid” evidence that Princess Latifa Al Maktoum, Dubai’s ruler’s daughter, is safe and in good condition.
In the photo, Princess Latifa looks to be seated with two friends at a shopping centre in Dubai. The post location says the photo is taken in Mall of the Emirates (MoE). Both other ladies are identified by Latifa’s friends.
The Instagram post does not convey information about the date and time of the shot, meaning the definite time and place of photo could not be recognized.
Nevertheless, the setting of the photo, reversed before posting, shows the release of film “Demon Slayer: Mugen Train.” The movie has been reportedly released in UAE since 13 May 2021. The information has not been verified yet.
Last Thursday, the photograph was shared on Instagram by both other ladies in the photo. “Lovely evening at MoE with friends,” One post was captioned. The two women refrained from responding to reporters.
Kenneth Roth, member of the Human Rights Watch, says “assuming that the photo is genuine, it shows proof of life, which is something, but nothing about the conditions of her confinement or her freedom.”
A second image was uploaded by the same Instagram account two days later. “Lovely dinner at Bice Mare with Latifa earlier,” said the description on the photograph. Bice Mare is a restaurant located in the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
The Great Escape
in February 2018, Princess Latifa sought to flee Dubai as a result of societal and familial pressures she described before and after the move.
She published a video before the controversial escape explaining that her heavily suppressive life condition. “I haven’t left the country since 2000. I’ve been asking a lot to just go travelling, to study, to do anything normal. They don’t let me,” she said in the video.
The great escape, however, failed. The princess, one among her 24 other siblings, were apprehended by commandos eight days into a perilous maritime voyage across the Indian Ocean. and Latifa was forcibly returned to Dubai.
Three years later, in February 2021, the Media found access to a video of Princess Latifa. She covertly recorded and conveyed the video to friends overseas, in which she details her abduction and detention after forced return to Dubai.
In the video, she claimed she has been detained alone in a villa, surrounded by security cops, with no access to medical or legal assistance. She further explained that she has had no access to outside the villa and the doors and windows are shut closed.
The escape is not unprecedented in the Al Maktoum family. Princess Shamsa, Latifa’s sister, also made an attempt to escape the family while on holiday with family in London.