A new image that appears to show Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, a daughter of the ruler of Dubai, appeared on Instagram, three months after the BBC broadcast a video message saying she was held captive in a villa with barricades. .
The image, if verified, would mark one of the few times Latifa has been photographed in public since shortly before she made a failed attempt three years ago to escape her father’s control by boarding a yacht to sail across the Indian Ocean. .
Since then, Latifa and her followers claim that she has been held against her will on the orders of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and vice president of the United Arab Emirates.
The sheikh and the United Arab Emirates categorically deny the allegations.
The image, posted on Shered Taylor’s Instagram account, apparently shows Latifa sitting in a restaurant. It comes days after another seemingly photo of the princess was posted to Taylor’s account.
In April, UN rights experts demanded that the United Arab Emirates show “proof of life” and the release of 35-year-old Latifa after the video broadcast in February on the BBC’s investigative news program Panorama.
A source close to the activists who have lobbied for his release said the two images were genuine and had been taken recently. Reuters could not independently verify whether Latifa has freedom of movement.
The UAE Foreign Ministry referred requests for comment on the Instagram images to the Dubai government media office, which did not respond when contacted by Reuters. When contacted by Reuters via Instagram, Taylor, whose profile identifies her as a teacher at a Dubai state school, did not respond.
The first image, posted to Taylor’s account on Thursday, shows Latifa outside a movie theater inside a Dubai mall. In the background you can see an advertisement for a movie released in Dubai on May 13.
The second image, posted to Taylor’s account on Saturday, shows Latifa sitting outside a restaurant with the Dubai Mall in the background.
Following the video broadcast by the BBC in February, the UAE embassy in London issued a statement saying that Latifa was being cared for at her home by her family and medical professionals and that she would return to “public life at the appropriate time.” .
Latifa came to international attention in 2018 when a human rights group posted a video she made describing an attempt to escape from Dubai. She was captured off the coast of India by special forces and brought back to Dubai.
In March 2020, a London High Court judge said it accepted as proven a series of accusations made by Princess Haya, the ex-wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, in a legal battle, which included the Sheikh ordering the Latifa kidnapping. The sheikh’s lawyers rejected the accusations.
In late 2018, Latifa’s family posted photos of her sitting with Mary Robinson, a former Irish President and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Robinson later told the BBC that she was “misled” during the visit and never asked Latifa about her situation.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism