Instagram photo appears to show Princess Latifa alive in Dubai following ‘hostage’ allegations

A photo has emerged online appearing to show Princess Latifa alive in Dubai following allegations the young woman was being held hostage. 

he photo, which was posted on Instagram two days ago and shared with Sky News, appears to show the princess in the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai. 

The latest Instagram photograph has not been verified. Facemasks placed on the table do suggest the image was taken in the last 18 months. 

It would be the first time the young woman has been seen in public since secret video messages released in February alleged that she was being held “hostage” by her father Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai. 

 

Princess Latifa had not been seen in public in more than two years before the tapes were revealed. Following the tapes, the United Nations asked the UAE for evidence that she is still alive.

Amnesty International has also urged the Irish Government to investigate Princess Latifa’s claims.

Devin Kenny, who is Amnesty’s UAE researcher, said it was an “absolute minimum” that countries should be raising the issue of human rights in the UAE.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum has consistently denied the claims and said she is safe and well.

The social media photo comes months after former President of Ireland Mary Robinson said she made “a big mistake” in the case of missing Princess Latifa Al Maktoum.

Ms Robinson spoke out after the secret tapes were released in the press in February. 

Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Robinson was photographed with the princess in 2018 during a lunch with its royal family.

Afterward, Ms Robinson described Princess Latifa as “a troubled young woman”.

However, a recent BBC Panorama obtained footage of video messages recorded by the princess where she said she was being kept as a “hostage” in a “villa jail”.

She escaped from Dubai in February 2018 but was forcibly returned the following month.

“I made a mistake. I let my heart lead my head. I went to help a friend. I was naive. I should have been more alert,” Ms Robinson told the Late Late Show. 

She said it’s the biggest mistake she’s made and that it’s “hurtful” to realise how big of a mistake it was.

“Well that’s all I can say and that’s hurtful to me when I realise that I made a big mistake. I’ve made mistakes before and that’s the biggest one. I hope I’ll never be in that situation again.”

The former President of Ireland was asked to attend the lunch by Princess Haya, Princess Latifa’s stepmother.

Ms Robinson said she now felt betrayed by her, someone she once called a good friend – highlighting the fact that she visited Princess Latifa as a favour for her stepmother.

According to Ms Robinson, she was told that Princess Latifa had bi-polar disorder.

She gave her apologies to the daughter of the Dubai ruler – and said she had no idea that Princess Latifa didn’t know at the time of their meeting that she was the UN High Commissioner.

Ms Robinson told host Ryan Tubridy she believes if Princess Latifa knew this maybe she would have confided in her.

Tubridy said at the time he was shocked that the former President of Ireland would title herself naive in this situation, as he believed it as the last thing for her to be.

When asked if she was embarrassed by the controversy, Ms Robinson said yes and admitted she worried it had tarnished her reputation.

“It’s been awful, it’s been deeply hurtful and I’m not trying to excuse it but it’s been very tough,” she said.

“(It’s been tough) in every sense, I care about my reputation, I care about my integrity.. to tell you the truth I’m coming on the show and I’m glad to have the opportunity to tell the story because I want the focus to be where it should be, on Latifa.”

Ms Robinson said she “100pc believes Latifa now” and believes that she needs political support to be freed.

She also said she wants to know where Princess Shamsa, Latifa’s sister is.

“I’ve been in touch with Simon Coveney, and he has said we are on the (UN) Security Council now but even before that contact had been made with our ambassador in Geneva to support the High Commissioner,” she said in February.

 

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