The United Nations has said it will raise the detention of Princess Latifa, the daughter of Dubai’s ruler, with the authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in it’s next general meeting.
Princess Latifa accused her father, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, of holding her hostage in Dubai since she tried to flee the city in 2018.
In secretly recorded videos shared with the BBC which prompted global calls for the UN to investigate the matter, Princess Latifa said she feared for her life and didn’t know what next will happen to her. She also said she was guarded by police men who told her she will ‘never see the sun again’.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has responded, saying it will question the UAE about Princess Latifa.
“We are concerned about it,” UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Wednesday.
He said the videos showed “a young woman in deep distress”, adding that the UK would watch any developments from the UN “very closely”.
But when asked whether sanctions could be imposed against the UAE, Raab said: “It’s not clear to me that there would be the evidence to support that.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said the government was “concerned” but would “wait and see how [the UN] get on” with their investigation.
“Other parts of the UN human rights system with relevant mandates may also become involved once they have analysed the new material”.
“We are hoping [a UN investigation] will be decisive in finally getting Princess Latifa released,” Rodney Dixon, a lawyer who presented the case to the UN, told the BBC.
“The UN needs to have a very serious meeting directly with those who are holding [her] and make sure an agreement is reached so she can be released,” he said.
Princess Latifa’s father, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is one of the richest heads of state in the world, the ruler of Dubai and vice-president of the UAE.
With the help of friends, Princess Latifa tried to flee Dubai to start a new life in February 2018.
“I’m not allowed to drive, I’m not allowed to travel or leave Dubai at all,” she said in a video recorded just before her escape.
But days later, the princess was captured by Navy personnel on a boat in the Indian Ocean.
She was then flown back to Dubai, where she has remained ever since.
Her father has since said he was acting in her best interests.