“In response to the media reports on Sheikha Latifa, we want to thank those who have expressed concern for his well-being, despite the coverage that certainly does not reflect the actual position,” the statement from his family said, according to the United Arab Emirates. United. (UAE) embassy in London.
In secret recordings obtained by the BBC and shared with CNN, the daughter of the billionaire ruler of Dubai claimed she was being held hostage in a “villa-turned-prison” without access to medical help.
The declaration of the royal family does not meet the demands of the United Nations and the United Kingdom that the United Arab Emirates provide proof of life for the sheikh.
In the statement, his family said that “His Highness is being cared for at home, supported by his family and medical professionals.”
“She continues to improve and we are hopeful that she will return to public life at the appropriate time,” he added.
Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum, daughter of the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, was last seen in public in March 2018 aboard a yacht off the coast of India, before that a raid by Indian and Emirati forces brought her back to Dubai, according to two people who helped plan her escape.
It was his second unsuccessful attempt to flee abroad after he tried to leave the United Arab Emirates in 2002 as a teenager.
In one of the video clips, Princess Latifa says: “I am a hostage. This villa has been turned into a jail. All the windows are closed with bars, I cannot open any windows … I have been alone, solitary confinement. No access to medical help, no trial, no charges, nothing. “
Princess Latifa secretly recorded the videos herself on a mobile phone while hiding in a locked bathroom, according to the BBC. The documentary says that about a year after Latifa was taken back to Dubai, her friend Tiina Jauhiainen was contacted by someone who secretly helped the couple reconnect.
Jauhiainen managed to get Latifa a phone number and since then the princess has recorded many video messages “describing her captivity in a villa-turned-prison with the windows closed with bars,” according to a BBC press release.
“BBC Panorama has independently verified the details of the place where Latifa was being held hostage. She was guarded by about 30 police officers, working in rotation, both inside and outside the villa. The location is a few meters from the beach. I don’t know you know if she’s still there, “the press release reads.
In another video shown in the documentary, Latifa says: “I have been here since then, for more than a year in solitary confinement. No access to medical help, no trial, no charges, nothing … Every day I worry. my security and the police threaten that I will never see the sun again. I’m not safe here. “
CNN’s Caroline Faraj in Dubai, Mostafa Salem in Abu Dhabi and Sarah Dean in London contributed to this report.