LONDON: 19 February 2021
Today following a statement by the United Nations requesting the UAE show proof of life of Princess Latifa Al Maktoum, the United Arab Emirates Embassy in London issued a statement that Princess Latifa is: “being cared for at home, supported by her family and medical professionals.”
Any truthful confirmation that Princess Latifa is safe and well is of course welcome. However, the statement today is reminiscent of those in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Statements that proved one thing, that the United Arab Emirates, its embassy in London and more specifically Latifa’s father the Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum simply cannot be trusted.
Over the last three years the Dubai ruler and the United Arab Emirates, have been consistent with just two things, their continued abuse of Latifa’s most basic human rights and the lies they have told to the world to cover that abuse up.
The dishonesty of the Dubai ruler and his failed attempts to fool the world have now been called out by the English High Court, the United Nations Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances, Latifa’s own evidence and even the statements of former Irish President and former UN Human rights chief Mary Robinson.
Each of us, and others, were in contact with Latifa for the majority of 2019 and 2020. As a result, we have thousands of videos, voice messages, photos, text messages and letters from Latifa.
We fully expected another propaganda stunt such as this, and we fully expect more forced pictures and videos to follow shortly, perhaps with another “horribly tricked” former world leader. That is why we used the contact we had with Latifa not only to gather as much evidence as we could about what happened to Latifa and her daily life as a hostage. This including involving a leading British psychiatrist in order to confirm that any further lies by the UAE about Latifa’s health could be called as well as gathering substantial additional evidence from third party eyewitnesses to Dubai’s abuse of Latifa.
We are gravely concerned that following the loss of our contact with Latifa and the discovery of her phone, Dubai will have increased its abuse of Latifa and subjected her to torture and drugging, as they have done before.
It is now critically urgent that that an independent team from the United Nations travel to Dubai and be able to visit Latifa immediately, and that they insist that Latifa is brought to safety in a country of her choosing.
We now look to world leaders including Queen Elizabeth, President Joe Biden, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to urgently intervene to ensure the United Arab Emirates do the right thing and release Latifa.
Finally, we want to end this statement with a video from Princess Latifa on how the support of those around the world gave her the strength to never give up. We ask the world now not to give up on Latifa.
“The situation is very hard, but I have hope and I’m not giving up, especially since I have like Tiina fighting for me and David and so many other people who are doing amazing and you know like, I shouldn’t give up and they’re not giving up. Why should I give up?”
Tiina Jauhiainen, Marcus Essabri, David Haigh
About Free Latifa
Princess Latifa stands for every person, especially every woman, who is held against their will when they have done nothing wrong. The Free Latifa Campaign is run by Latifa’s family, closest friends, supporters and advisors. It is headed by Latifa’s best friend Tiina Jauhiainen as Campaign Director, a human rights lawyer and campaigner David Haigh, Latifa’s cousin Marcus Essabri, and Latifa’s close friends Stefania Martinengo and Marko Remes.
The campaign also benefits from the support of Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Detained International and a growing number of Latifa’s family, supporters, media, lawyers, politicians and celebrities around the world. The campaign is about positivity and love, we have one goal, to #FreeLatifa. Updates on the campaign can be found on www.freelatifa.com
Tiina Jauhiainen and David Haigh
Campaign to FreeLatifa
Telephone: + 44 (0) 203 900 1188
Telephone: + 44 (0) 752 707 7777