Dubai Princess Surfaces to Reassure UN

Latifa tells human rights commissioner all is well
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2021 6:35 PM CDT
Updated Feb 19, 2022 12:15 PM CST
'Free Latifa' Campaign Says It Is Disbanding
In 2018, Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum, a daughter of Dubai’s ruler, appeared in a 40-minute video in which she said she was planning on fleeing the country.   (Detained in Dubai via AP)

(Newser) Update: A Dubai princess, who was the subject of concern for her safety last year, has met with a United Nations official to assure her she's fine. The UN's human rights agency tweeted a photo Friday showing Princess Latifa, whose father is Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, in Paris with Michelle Bachelet, high commissioner for human rights. The post says that the two met privately and that "Latifa conveyed to the High Commissioner that she was well & expressed her wish for respect for her privacy." The meeting took place in November, the Washington Post reports, though the agency didn't say why it was just now announcing it. Our original story from August 2021 follows:

There are still many unanswered questions in the case of Dubai's Princess Latifa—but since she appears to be traveling freely again, organizers have decided to disband the "Free Latifa" campaign. The group issued a statement after the princess, who was forcibly returned to the emirate by commandos after an attempt to escape three years ago, was seen on vacation in Iceland with cousin Marcus Essabri, Guardian reports. The group quoted Essabri as saying: "I had an emotional reunion with my cousin Latifa in Iceland. I feel blessed that I got to spend time with her. It was reassuring to see her so happy, well, and focused on her plan." The Iceland photo was posted on Instagram by British woman Sioned Taylor, who also appeared with the princess in a June photo taken in Madrid's airport.

Earlier this year, the United Nations demanded proof the princess was alive after videos emerged in which she said she was being held captive. "The primary purpose of the Free Latifa campaign was to see Latifa free leading the life she chooses for herself," the campaign said. "We have clearly gone a long way towards achieving that goal over the last three years, with bodies such as the United Nations now monitoring the current and future wellbeing of Latifa." Campaign co-founder David Haigh tells the BBC that while her situation appears to have improved, people should still view "everything that's happening now with extreme caution and monitor the situation closely." Lawyers released a statement in June that quoted Latifa as saying she is free to travel and wishes to live "without further media scrutiny." (Read more Princess Latifa stories.)

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