The United Nations human rights office said on Friday that it had asked the United Arab Emirates to provide evidence that an Emirati princess, held against her will for nearly three years, was still alive.
The Geneva-based Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said the case Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum With the Emirates Mission to the United Nations on Thursday.
Earlier this week, the BBC released excerpts from a video diary that Latifa said she recorded in a locked bathroom inside the villa in Dubai where she was being held. She was arrested by commandos off the coast of India in 2018 after she tried to flee Dubai on a yacht.
“We have raised our concerns about the situation in light of the disturbing video evidence that emerged this week,” Elizabeth Throssell, a spokeswoman for the UN Human Rights Office, told reporters. He added, “We requested more information and clarifications about the current situation of Sheikha Latifa.”
“We asked for evidence of life,” she added.
The princess’s friends said they worried about her safety because no one had heard of her since she stopped responding to text messages six months ago. The 35-year-old princess is a daughter Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, The hereditary ruler of Dubai who is also prime minister and vice president of the United Arab Emirates.
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Throssell stressed that it is standard practice for the UN Human Rights Office to inquire about individual cases within its mandate. This includes issues for whatever reason have attracted a wider focus.
“Given the serious concerns about Sheikha Latifa, we have requested that the government’s response be a priority,” she added. We look forward to receiving and considering this response. “
“Meanwhile, of course, we will continue to closely monitor and evaluate the situation,” Throssell said.
The UAE embassy in London issued a statement on behalf of Latifa’s family, saying that the media coverage of her situation “definitely does not reflect the actual situation.”
“Her family confirmed that Her Highness receives care at home with the support of her family and medical specialists,” the statement said. “It continues to improve and we hope it will return to public life in time.”
Latifa’s case had previously been raised by independent human rights experts appointed by the world body.
In December, the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances reported that it had decided to examine the case of Latifa “who is reported to be held incommunicado in her family’s home in Dubai.”