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A call for action by P&J columnist

David Haigh and his team at Detained International welcome the continued support of journalists globally, who help to maintain focus and attention on the #FreeLatifa Al Maktoum campaign.  The Princesses many friends around the world wait agonizingly for proof of life.   David would like to personally thank all those who have signed the #FreeLatifa petition he set up over a year ago on Change.Org.

Catherine Deveney shone the light on Princess Latifa’s situation last week amid allegations she is being held under the control of her powerful father and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Writing in her column, Ms Deveney spoke of her fears that since secretly recorded video footage of the princess was made public via the BBC’s Panorama programme in February, no authoritative action has been taken.

Catherine Deveney: International accountability just a myth when there’s a whiff of filthy lucre in the air

As a child, there was a particular magic in fairy tales that mentioned Arabia or Persia. Those names spoke of midnight blue skies studded with diamond stars; of cobbled alleyways in hot and dusty souks; magic lamps and secret caverns of Ali Baba riches.

Princess Latifa is said to be imprisoned in a villa by her father after she unsuccessfully attempted to flee the country in 2018.

Ms Deveney wrote of her distress over the footage, which is alleged to have been filmed on a smuggled device in the princess’ only private area of the villa where she is currently being held – the bathroom.

She questioned if anybody could fail to be disturbed by the footage of the princess, before adding: “But even more disturbing is the silence following that footage.

“I have waited these last six weeks, waited for action to follow the short kerfuffle that Latifa’s video prompted, the little flurries of noise that turned out to be no more than embarrassed coughs in the silence.

“Ahem… where is Latifa? asked the UN.


Not the first time an escape attempt has been made

Latifa, 35, is the second of Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum’s 30 children to attempt to flee Dubai.

In 2000, her sister Shamsa made a desperate call to a British solicitor. A few days later, she was whisked off the streets of Cambridge by four Arab men and has since disappeared from public view.

Later his ex-wife, 46-year-old Princess Haya, appeared in a family court in London with her two young children where the court ruled she had been subject to a campaign of intimidation by the sheikh.

Detained International’s team continue to work behind the scenes to raise awareness and campaign for the release of many illegally detained and inhumanly treated in the UAE

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