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'Clarify' status of runaway princess, HRW tells Dubai

'Clarify' status of runaway princess, HRW tells Dubai”

She said she was the daughter of Dubai ruler Mohammed bin Rashed Al Maktoum and an Algerian mother, Horriya Ahmed, and that she had tried to escape in previous years.

Princess Latifa in a video from March said she was fleeing the country because of mistreatment.

Sheikha Latifa - the daughter of the Emirate's ruler - is said to have tried to flee in March in order to live a freer life overseas.

"Pretty soon I'm going to be leaving somehow and I'm not so sure of the outcome but I'm 99 per cent positive it will work", the woman says.

She said her sister, Shamsa Al Maktoum, escaped in 2000 but was brought back to Dubai and imprisoned. The woman described her life in the UAE as being "very restricted" and she was not allowed to travel or drive.

The video was released by Detained in Dubai, a British organisation that assists people with legal problems in the UAE.

This Thursday, April 12, 2018 image from video, shows Herve Jaubert, right, a former agent of the French DGSE spy agency, speaking during a press conference with Radha Stirling, the founder and CEO of advocacy group Detained in Dubai, which has campaigned on behalf of Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum, at the Conrad Hotel in London, England.

It said she planned to sail to India, then fly to the United States, where she would seek asylum.

The princess is one of 30 children the wealthy ruler of Dubai has with six wives.

It said a Finnish woman and friend of the princess was among foreigners on board.

"UAE authorities should immediately reveal the whereabouts of Sheikha Latifa, confirm her status, and allow her contact with the outside world", said the HRW Middle East director, Sarah Leah Whitson.

The rights group quotes Tiina Jauhiainen, a Finnish national who was a friend of Sheikha Latifa and on the same boat, told them an Indian coast guard was involved in the boat raid.

But witnesses say the luxury yacht she was travelling on was intercepted off India, and she was returned to Dubai. After verbally confirming her identity, Sheikha Latifa sombrely adds: "I'm making this video because it could be the last video I mean".

A photocopy of a passport provided to Detained in Dubai by the woman claiming to be Sheikha Latifa.

According to HRW, the case of missing Sheikha Latifa, 32, could constitute "enforced disappearance".

Last month a source close to the ruler's family disclosed that the runaway princess had returned to the emirate or allegedly forcefully brought back.

In a statement on Saturday HRW said Dubai authorities must "reveal" her whereabouts and "clarify her legal status".

Dubai's authorities say they can not comment for legal reasons.

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