The United Arab Emirates' Sheikha Latifa al-Maktoum during the Dubai Grand Prix show jumping championship in 2014. Picture: REUTERS/MARTIN DOKOUPIL
The United Arab Emirates' Sheikha Latifa al-Maktoum during the Dubai Grand Prix show jumping championship in 2014. Picture: REUTERS/MARTIN DOKOUPIL

Zurich — The UN human rights watchdog said on Friday it has asked the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for more information about the status of Dubai’s Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum and proof that she is alive.

On Tuesday, the BBC’s investigative news programme Panorama published a video it said was of Latifa, one of the ruler of Dubai’s daughters, saying she was being held against her will in a barricaded villa.

“We raised our concerns about the situation in light of the disturbing video evidence that emerged this week. We requested more information and clarification about Sheikha Latifa’s current situation”, Liz Throssell, spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), told an online briefing in Geneva.

The OHCHR had approached the country’s permanent mission in Geneva on Thursday, she said.

“Given the serious concerns about Sheikha Latifa, we have requested that the government’s response comes as a matter of priority ... We did ask for proof of life,” she said, adding that the agency will continue to monitor the situation closely.

The Dubai government’s media office and the UAE foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

Earlier this week the Dubai media office referred questions about the video to Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed’s law firm, which has not responded to a request for comment.

Latifa drew international attention in 2018 when a human rights group released a video made by her in which she described an attempt to escape Dubai.

In March 2020, a London high court judge said he accepted as proved a series of allegations made by Sheikh Mohammed’s former wife, Princess Haya, in a legal battle, including that the sheikh ordered the abduction of Latifa. The sheikh’s lawyers rejected the allegations.

“I am a hostage and this villa has been converted into a jail,” Latifa said in the video published by the BBC on Tuesday. “All the windows are barred shut, I can’t open any window.”

She said she was making the video in the bathroom of the villa, the only room she could lock herself into.

Reuters could not independently verify when or where the video was recorded. 

Reuters

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