Princess Latifa al-Maktoum of Dubai has asked the UK to reboot the investigation into her missing older sister Shamsa. The princess shared a letter she sent with the BBC.
Shamsa was abducted on the street in Cambridge over 20 years ago. In the letter, her younger sister writes that their father, the emir of Dubai, was behind the disappearance. Shamsa was 18 when it happened. She is now 39 years old and hasn‘t been seen in public since the abduction.
“ All I ask of you is to please pay attention to this matter,” wrote Princess Latifa to the British authorities. “Then she could get her freedom back.”
‘Make a difference for women.‘
The older princess spent part of her childhood in England. There she had close contact with her cousin, with whom the BBC spoke. “She wanted to make a difference for women, mainly in the Arab world,” he says to broadcasting. “She wanted to look up the borders. That’s when the problems started.”
In a letter to her cousin in 1999, Shamsa wrote that her father was not allowed to study. “He didn‘t even ask me what I wanted. He just said no,” quotes the BBC from the letter. She entrusted her cousin to flee.
In the following summer she drove away from the family estate in Surrey. She was later found in Cambridge. Her father took her to France with a helicopter. From there, she was flown to Dubai.
was only after seven months that the British police were aware of the abduction. To check facts, the police wanted to go to Dubai, but that request was denied. After that, the investigation was still. In 2018, Shamsa would have made contact with the police again. The case was closed not long after due to “lack of evidence to take further action”.
Shamsa was in a prison until 2008, says her sister Latifa. “She had to be guided by the hand because she couldn’t open her eyes. She got a load of pills to keep her under control. Those pills turned her into a zombie,” writes her younger sister.
Latifa also claims to be held hostage
Latifa would have been returned to Dubai from abroad against her will. Last week, videos appeared in which she says that she is being held hostage by her family and that she fears for her life. In a statement made by the royal family last week, it says that she is well taken care of.
The United Arab Emirates have been repeatedly asked to clarify the issue by the UN, Amnesty and Human Rights Watch, but there have been no answers so far.