Princess Latifa, the daughter of Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, was kidnapped at the behest of her father, according to a group associated with the United Nations. The UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) called for safe release of Latifa, who is reportedly held in Dubai.

In March 2018, Sheikh Mohammed sent commandoes to a luxury yacht in the Indian Ocean where the 34-year-old princess stayed with her friend after fleeing Dubai. She has not been seen in public since her capture and the UAE insisted that she was alive and safe and lived with her family in the emirate.

The WGEID concluded that Latifa was "currently held in incommunicado detention in... Dubai" and that the group was "concerned" for her. Human rights lawyer David Haigh, who co-founded the Free Latifa campaign, said: "Because the perpetrator of Latifa's detention is her father who rules the country, the fox is still in charge of the hen house, but the WGEID's judgement is a slap in the face for Sheikh Mohammed's despotic rule and his disregard for his daughter's human rights, and we very much believe this could be see a route open for the release of Latifa."

Princess Latifa
YouTube/Screen Grab

Tiina Jauhiainen, the co-founder of the Free Latifa campaign, reportedly said: "The UN has now found that my friend Latifa, kidnapped at gunpoint in March 2018, is detained against her will in Dubai in breach of international law. The UN and the international community must now enforce this finding and require the UAE to free Latifa and bring the UAE and Indian perpetrators to justice."

International human rights lawyer QC Rodney Dixon wrote to the WGEID urging the UN to work towards the safe release of Latifa.

This was not the first time that Latifa tried to escape Dubai. At the age of 16, she attempted to flee Dubai but was captured at the border, she previously said in a video. She also alleged that she was jailed for three years, beaten and tortured.