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Princess Latifa: New photo emerges of Dubai royal in Iceland as campaign to free her is disbanded
August 9, 2021
The campaign to free Princess Latifa, the daughter of the ruler of Dubai, has been disbanded after a new image of her in Iceland was posted on Instagram.
Several pictures of the princess have been posted online by Sioned Taylor, a long-term friend, in recent months.
The princess had not been seen in public since her failed attempt to flee the UAE in 2018.
In secret video messages passed to Sky News in February, the Dubai royal claimed her father was holding her hostage.
The latest image shows the 35-year-old standing with Ms Taylor and her cousin, Marcus Essabri, in Iceland.
“Great trip to Iceland with Latifa and Marcus,” Ms Taylor captioned the post.
She had posted a picture with Latifa in Madrid in June, with previous photos showing the pair at a restaurant in Dubai.
In a follow-up post on the Free Latifa campaign website, Mr Essabri said: “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 plans.”
The campaign said it was disbanding following the meeting between the princess and Mr Essabri in Iceland.
“The primary purpose of the FreeLatifa campaign was to see Latifa free leading the life she chooses for herself,” the group 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.
“The FreeLatifa campaign would like to thank everyone who supported the campaign to FreeLatifa.”
“It’s a very positive development and it’s the best position she’s been in for almost two decades,” David Haigh, co-founder of the Free Latifa campaign, told Sky News.
“But we need to approach everything with caution given the history. Since the first pictures of Latifa on Instagram accounts began appearing in late spring, we have been cautious to welcome it as a positive development.
“Given what Mary Robinson, a former world leader, said about being horribly tricked and making the worst mistake of her life – her words – over taking part in a photographic cover-up, we proceeded then as we do now, with caution.”
His comments referred to the former United Nations high commissioner for human rights who was pictured alongside the princess on Christmas Eve in 2017. The former Irish president later said appearing in the photos was one of the biggest mistakes of her life.
“The international community, including the UN and world leaders, will no doubt be watching the behaviour of the UAE and how it relates to Latifa now,” Mr Haigh added.
Latifa tried to escape from her family in March 2018 by attempting to sail across the Indian Ocean, but she was brought back to Dubai in what the royal family said was a rescue mission.
She was not seen or heard from in public until earlier this year, when she claimed in secret videos released to Sky News that she was a “hostage” and had been beaten, drugged and imprisoned then locked away under armed guard in a royal villa.