26 February 2018
On 26 February 2018, Radha Stirling of Detained in Dubai was contacted via email by Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum (II).
Sheikha Latifa is the daughter of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Urgent Email From A Princess
A Horrifying Message
The email makes clear that not only is Latifa desperate to escape her family, and particularly her father, but she is also in fear for her life. She explains how she has previously been jailed and tortured on the orders of her father.
This young woman bravely took this step, despite knowing the consequences of failure, and risked everything to seek asylum in the West.
A Harrowing Mystery
Despite the best efforts of Detained in Dubai, the yacht the used to flee the UAE was later ambushed while in international waters off the coast of India. Latifa was able to make a final, terrified WhatsApp call to raise an SOS, saying she was hiding onboard the boat as she heard men surrounding it, and the sound of gunfire.
On that awful night, Latifa disappeared.
After 16 days of silence, the electronic tracking system onboard the yacht was reactivated. After continued denials by the UAE authorities of any knowledge of the whereabouts of Latifa or the yacht she had been aboard, the Nostromo was revealed to now be docked at a UAE Naval base.
Despite the reappearance of the Nostromo, Latifa remained unaccounted for. The above message made clear that she was a young woman in distress, and she was now missing.