Thursday, February 25, 2021

Dubai’s Missing Princess Latifa: A Short-Live Journey To Freedom

After three years of being off the grid, new details about the kidnapping and detention of Dubai’s missing princess, Princess Latifa, have come to light.

Princess Latifa is one of the 25 children of Dubai’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, one of the world’s richest men.

According to BBC, a friend of Dubai’s missing princess, Tiina Jauhiainen, said that many months have passed since she last heard from Princess Latifa. The Sheikh’s daughter is reportedly being detained in Dubai after she attempted a daring escape.

Tiina said that she and Latifa have been in contact even when the princess was detained through a secret phone. However, she became worried when their communication stopped all of a sudden.

Dubai’s Missing Princess’ Attempted Escape

In February of 2018, Tiina joined Princess Latifa to escape Dubai and seek asylum abroad. According to Tiina, the last time she saw the princess was when they were stargazing on the deck of a yacht they used to sail through the Indian Ocean.

While Latifa’s father, the Sheikh, has turned Dubai into a city glittering with economy and has transformed it into the region’s playground, Emirati women have gotten the short end of the stick. Women were forced to follow customs and law, which made them feel chained and restricted. Princess Latifa was no stranger to this.

In a video that Dubai’s missing princess made before her escape, she said that she was not allowed to travel and leave Dubai. She also stated that she was not allowed to drive.

The video was recorded inside Tiina’s apartment, where the Princess reminisced the times she asked to travel or study abroad but was not allowed to do so. She also stated that she has never left the country since 2000.

However, despite the tough times that she faced, the princess added in the video that she felt positive about her future. She also said that she could not imagine how she would feel once she wakes up able to do as she pleases.

Read also: Women Aid Workers Fatally Shot in Suspected Ambush in Pakistan

During her escape attempt, Dubai’s missing princess was under heavy surveillance and had no access to her passport. Thus, they were forced to slip out of Dubai by driving to Oman’s coast.

Upon arrival at the coast, it took them a long time to get to international waters since they had to use a dinghy and then a jetski. It was already evening when they reached the yacht that was supposed to be their ride to freedom.

At the time, the princess even sent a WhatsApp message to a friend declaring that she was free.

The Capture and Detention of Princess Latifa

According to Sky News, Tiina and Princess Latifa planned to sail through the Indian Ocean, then take a plane to the U.S. where the princess could get political asylum. However, in just eight days, their plan went sideways.

While they were sailing amid the Indian Ocean, armed men stormed the yacht. Dubai’s missing princess and her friend hid in the boat’s bathroom but were forced out when they were bombed with smoke grenades.

Videos of the princess recollecting the happenings on the boat was recently released. In the video, Princess Latifa described how she pleaded with the men to let her go, as she was in international waters.

However, she said her pleas were not heard, and the Emirati commando tranquilized her and brought her back to Dubai.

Currently, the United Nations human rights office has already joined the investigation on the case of Dubai’s missing princess. The UN has also asked Dubai for proof that Princess Latifa is still alive, despite being held against her will, NBC News reported.

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