Saskatoon StarPhoenix

`KIDNAPPED' PRINCESS PICTURED IN MADRID

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Princess Latifa has appeared in a “holiday” photo with a British teacher just months after claiming she was imprisoned by her father, the ruler of Dubai.

The 35-year-old is wearing a mask at Madrid airport in the photo, which was posted Monday by Sioned Taylor, a Dubai-based teacher who wrote the caption: “Great European holiday with Latifa. We're having fun exploring!”

Responding to a comment asking about Latifa, she replied “She is great” with a thumbs-up emoji and confirmed the pair were at Madrid-barajas airport.

Taylor, who in the past has worked for the Dubai royal family, posted photograph­s in May showing Latifa in a Dubai shopping mall and restaurant. They are the only public sightings of the princess since she claimed in videos released in February that she was being held hostage in a guarded Dubai villa after being forcibly returned to the U.A.E. following a 2018 escape attempt. She has not spoken publicly.

Rothna Begum, of Human Rights Watch, said: “We just need to know that she is free and able to express her wishes, which is really difficult to know from a photograph.

“The U.A.E. has not been forthcomin­g (about Princess Latifa's well-being), instead they've given this stage-managed show. It would be good if immigratio­n officials were to take her aside and ask her if she wants to claim asylum or check that she wasn't being held against her will.”

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