Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, 35, went missing from the public eye in 2019. BBC released a YouTube video on the secret videos she sent to her friends describing her living conditions in the United Arab Emerites.
Her father, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, captured her after she tried to escape the country in 2018. Since her capture, the princess is being held in an isolated villa. In the videos, taken on a smuggled cell phone, Latifa said that the police barred the windows and prevented her from going outside.
“I don’t know when I’ll be released and what the conditions will be like when I’m released,” Latifa said. “Every day I am worried about my safety and my life.”
Additionally, she said that the police threatened that she will be imprisoned for the rest of her life, never seeing the sun again.
According to NBC, the UAE has come under criticism from human rights campaigners. “Free Latifa,” a group formed shortly after Latifa’s disappearance, says that some laws discriminate against women, migrants and LGBTQ citizens. They also say that there is no freedom of expression in the country due to fear.
Free Latifa hopes that the videos will shed light on the human rights violations the country is committing. They further expressed that this will hopefully pressure the UAE to release Latifa. Prior to the videos, Emeriti officials said it was a family affair and that they did not detain Latifa.
Since the release of the videos, Latifa’s father and UAE officials have been silent. This is an attack on human rights that the U.N. will address.