Dubai princess claims she’s being held captive by her father

The whereabouts of Princess Latifa al-Maktoum, daughter of the ruler of Dubai, remains a mystery after a recent video claiming that her father is holding her as a prisoner. Elizabeth Palmer reports.

Video Transcript

- Denied the whereabouts of Princess Latifa, daughter of the ruler of Dubai, remains a mystery. He's one of the most influential men in the world. She claims her father is holding her prisoner, and recent secret phone video has prompted questions about her safety. CBS's Elizabeth Palmer has more.

PRINCESS LATIFA AL-MAKTOUM: I'm a hostage, and this villa has been converted into a jail. All the windows are barred shut. I can't open any window.

ELIZABETH PALMER: In a video sent to friends Princess Latifa al-Maktoum claims she's a prisoner.

PRINCESS LATIFA AL-MAKTOUM: I've been by myself, solitary confinement.

ELIZABETH PALMER: She's the 35-year-old daughter of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the wealthy and well-connected ruler of Dubai. Three years ago, Latifa tried to escape from her father's Kingdom by boat with her former martial arts instructor, Tiina Jauhiainen.

TIINA JAUHIAINEN: We were intercepted just off the coast of India. The boat was suddenly boarded by a commando unit. Latifa was kidnapped kicking and screaming and the rest of us were kidnapped as well and taken to UAE.

TIINA JAUHIAINEN: Jauhiainen was eventually let go and returned to Finland, but Latifa, she says, vanished. The only news came in a series of secret cell phone recordings.

PRINCESS LATIFA AL-MAKTOUM: Every day I am worried about my safety and my life. I don't really know if I'm going to survive the situation. The police threaten me that they would take me outside and shoot me if I didn't cooperate with them. Then a few months ago, the videos stopped, so the Free Latifa Campaign released the ones they had to the BBC.

ELIZABETH PALMER: That prompted the UN to ask Dubai for proof that Latifa is alive.

- We raised our concerns about this situation in light of the disturbing video evidence that emerged this week.

ELIZABETH PALMER: But instead of offering proof of life, the Dubai royal family simply issued a statement from the embassy here in London saying that Latifah was being cared for by her family with medical support. Elizabeth Palmer, CBS News, London.