THE daughter of the ruler of Dubai has revealed fears she might not survive in secret video messages to friends.
Princess Latifa says commandos sent to capture her drugged her as she fled by boat and flew her back to detention in the United Arab Emirates.
Haunting video shared with the BBC shows Latifa crouched against the wall in a bathroom and using a mobile phone she records a shocking message.
“I’m a hostage, I’m not free. I am imprisoned in this jail. My life is not in my hands,” the 35-year-old says.
Days into her escape she was forcibly removed by armed men on a yacht off the coast of India, and taken back to Dubai.
In the videos Latifa says: “I have been here ever since, for more than a year in solitary confinement.
“No access to medical help, no trial, no charge, nothing.
“Every day I am worried about my safety and the police threaten me that I will never see the sun again. I am not safe here.”
Her father and the Dubai Royal Court have claimed she is safe in the loving care of her family but the BBC says the documentary provides evidence to the contrary.
Around a year after Latifa was captured, Tiina was contacted by someone who helped her secretly reconnect with her friend.
Tiina managed to get a phone to Latifa and since then she has recorded many video messages, describing her captivity in a villa converted into a jail with its windows barred shut.
BBC Panorama says it has independently verified the details of where Latifa was being held hostage.
She was guarded by around 30 police, working on rotation, both inside and outside the villa.
The location is just yards from the beach but it is not known if she is still there.
Tiina told Panorama: “She is so pale, she hasn’t seen sunlight for months. She can basically move just from her room to the kitchen and back.”
Latifa is the daughter of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, one of the richest heads of state in the world.
She reportedly fled the country to seek political asylum abroad in late February of 2018.
According to Jean-Pierre Hervé Jaubert, a former French spy who helped in the escape attempt, the princess made a dramatic bid for freedom by travelling on jet skis from Oman to a waiting yacht called Nostromo.
They then set sail for Goa, in India but after a week at sea on the Indian Ocean, Mr Jaubert claims they were spotted and then monitored by reconnaissance planes.
Fifty miles off Goa they were boarded and she was take back to Dubai.
In 2019 she laud out the reasons why she wanted to flee in a YouTube video.
She alleged her family had imprisoned and tortured her and she now wanted to escape the clutches of her father.
Last year the High Court in London found her father “ordered and orchestrated” the abduction and forced return to Dubai of Princess Latifa twice, in 2002 and again in 2018.
At the end of last year, the UN ruled that he did imprison his princess daughter and must be brought to justice.
Ex-UN rights envoy Mary Robinson, who had described Latifa as a “troubled young woman” after meeting her in 2018, now says she was “horribly tricked” by the princess’s family.
The former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and president of Ireland has joined calls for international action to establish Latifa’s current condition and whereabouts.
“I continue to be very worried about Latifa. Things have moved on. And so I think it should be investigated,” she said.
BBC Panorama: The Missing Princess will be broadcast on BBC One, at 8.30pm on Tuesday and then on BBC iPlayer.