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UN says UAE failed to provide compelling proof that Sheikha Latifa is alive

Sheikha Latifa Al-Maktoum, daughter of the UAE's Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, seen in January 2018, a few weeks before her escape from her family in February 2018 [Tiina Jauhiainen / wikimedia]
Sheikha Latifa Al-Maktoum, daughter of the UAE's Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, seen in January 2018, a few weeks before her escape from her family in February 2018 [Tiina Jauhiainen/wikimedia]

A spokeswoman for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) announced Friday that the UAE has not provided evidence that Sheikha Latifa, the daughter of Dubai's ruler, is alive as the office had previously requested the Gulf State.

OHCHR spokeswoman Marta Hurtado added in a press statement in Geneva that the UN body sought to meet with the UAE ambassador in Geneva to discuss the issue of the princess, while intending to inquire about her sister Shamsa as well.

The OHCHR had requested evidence that Sheikha Latifa is still alive.

The British BBC aired last February a video clip in which Sheikha Latifa said that she was being held hostage in a villa and that the place had turned into a prison with closed windows that she could not open, while five police officers guarded the residence and two others were inside.

Sheikha Latifa added that she feared for her life and that she had no idea about the fate she was about to meet as the situation worsened each day, which prompted Britain to demand proof that the princess is still alive.

READ: UAE hostage Sheikha Latifa urges UK to reopen case into sister's kidnapping

In the video, Sheikha Latifa also indicated that her sister Shamsa is enslaved, oppressed, and physically abused by her family members and that she was going to seek asylum in the United Kingdom; confirming that after a few months, Princess Shamsa was kidnapped, dragged in the street while she was kicking and screaming before she was drugged and brought back to Dubai.

Sheikha Latifa said that her sister was tortured and "remained isolated without setting a date for her release or trial, and without having charges pressed against her."

She added that her sister's feet were whipped "which is something I have experienced myself in my own prison."

Sheikha Latifa continued: "Her ultimate goal was to be free, to live with dignity, and to enjoy the freedom of choice and movement. She wants her basic rights like any human being is entitled to."

She asserted that Princess Shamsa had "strong ties with London," and that she was "unlawfully kidnapped in the United Kingdom," adding: "All I ask from you is to give her case attention and help her obtain her freedom, which is the only thing she wants in the entire world."

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