Princess Latifa, the captive daughter of UAE PM Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has written to British police asking them to reopen their investigation into the kidnap of her older sister from a street in Cambridge in 2000. According to BBC, Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum asked Cambridgeshire Police to refocus on the case of her sister Shamsa, now 39, who was captured aged 18 and has not been seen in public since. The police department confirmed that it had received a letter, dated February 2018, in relation to the case and that it was part of an “ongoing review”.
It is worth noting that Latifa is herself the subject of international concern. Last week, she had appeared in secret recordings claiming she is being held “hostage in a villa converted into a jail”. She had tried to flee the country in 2018 after which she sent secret video messages to friends accusing her father of holding her “hostage” as she feared for her life.
Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammad, on the other hand, has rejected the findings by a London High Court judge who said last year that he accepted as proved allegations that the sheikh had ordered the abductions of his daughters. But Princess Latifa revealed that an attempt by her older sister to flee the family also ended in capture and imprisonment. According to BBC, Shamsa was forcibly taken from Cambridge, flown by helicopter to France and then by private jet back to Dubai.
In a handwritten letter, Latifa urged actions for her sister by British authorities. She asked the UK officials to give attention to her sister’s case “because it could get her her freedom”. Latifa said that Shamsa has strong links to England and her fondest memories are also of her time there. Further, Latifa wrote that her sister was “kept incommunicado” with no release date, trial, or charge. “She was tortured by getting her feet canned,” Latifa said.
It is worth noting that back in 2018, the Dubai Royal Court had said that Shamsa was “adored” and “cherished”. The Sheikh had also only spoken of “relief” at having his “vulnerable” daughter Shamsa after she went missing. Meanwhile, Britain has called on the UAE to show proof that Latifa was still alive. The UN Human Rights Office has also called upon the UAE authorities to provide more information about Latifa’s current situation.