- Amina Al-Jeffery allegedly kept prisoner by father in Saudi for four years
- Said to have been held there after being accused of un-Islamic behaviour
- Miss Al-Jeffery born in Swansea but taken to Saudi Arabia at the age of 16
- Her father did not agree with her western lifestyle the High Court was told
This is the Welsh woman who has been ‘beaten, starved, had her head shaved and locked up’ by her father in Saudi Arabia because he disapproved of her ‘kissing a guy’.
Amina Al-Jeffery was born in Swansea but then taken to Saudi Arabia, aged 16, because her father, an academic, disapproved of her ‘un-Islamic’ western lifestyle.
She has since been held as a prisoner at her father’s home in Jeddah, starved of food and water, physically abused, and will not be allowed to marry the man of her choice, the High Court was told.
Lawyers representing Miss Al-Jeffery say they fear for her safety and have taken the legal action in London in a bid to protect her.
But her father, Mohammed Al-Jeffery, 62, who works at the King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, has received funding from the Saudi government to fight the High Court’s order to return her.
Lawyer Anne-Marie Hutchinson, said she had spoken to Miss Al-Jeffery when she briefly escaped from her father’s home in the city of Jeddah – on the coast of the Red Sea and close to Mecca.
Ms Hutchinson, a member of the international Academy of Family Lawyers, said: ‘She is a normal Welsh girl and still has her Welsh accent.
‘She wants to return home so she can have control of her own life and make her own choices.’
Mr Al-Jeffery had moved to Swansea before Amina was born, and the family claimed benefits while his nine children were educated at British schools and universities.
Henry Setright, QC, representing Miss Al-Jeffery, said that her father had taken her to Saudi Arabia because he disapproved of her ‘relationships and conduct’.
Mr Setright said her father believed that his daughter was ‘someone he has a duty to control, including her freedom of movement’.
But he said Miss Al-Jeffery had spoken to a member of staff at the British Consulate in Jeddah and her complaints had been outlined in a note of that meeting.
Miss Al-Jeffrey said there had been a ‘practice’ of ‘locking her in her room’.
A younger sister had been told she was an ‘evil girl’. She said a sister had seen her in Saudi Arabia and found ‘a locked-up girl with a shaved head’.
She said her father ‘locks her up because she kissed a guy’.
Welsh schoolgirl Amina Al-Jeffery has been kept prisoner in a cage by her own father for more than four years in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (pictured), after she was accused of un-Islamic behaviour, a court heard yesterday
She also said ‘metal bars are no longer in her room’ but ‘she is still locked up in the house’ and ‘not allowed to use the phone or internet’.
She had spoken of being ‘prevented from going to the bathroom’ and being ‘forced to urinate in a cup’.
Marcus Scott-Manderson, QC, representing Mr Al-Jeffery said he ‘could not bring himself’ to obey the court’s order to attend the consulate.
Miss Al-Jeffery was allowed to attend a meeting with consular staff at a hotel under the supervision of someone employed by her father.
She managed to slip a note under the table to a member of embassy staff expressing fears about her future, the court was told.
The forced marriage unit of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said that the Saudi authorities would not recognise Miss Al-Jeffery’s British citizenship and ‘steps need to be taken to ensure Amina is returned to the UK where her safety can be guaranteed’.
Hearing: Miss Al-Jeffery has since been held as a prisoner at her father’s home in Jeddah, the family division of the High Court in London (pictured) was told yesterday
Mr Justice Holman said that the jurisdiction of the British courts was not clear because Miss Al-Jeffery was now an adult with dual Saudi and UK citizenship.
He said: ‘We have to be careful about asserting the supremacy our cultural standards.’
The judge said yesterday that issues raised were ‘important and difficult’, and said the ‘right thing’ might be to order that Miss Al-Jeffery was taken to the British Consulate.
He said if she sought sanctuary, Foreign Office staff would then have to make decisions.
The hearing continues and is expected to end today.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3710087/Welsh-schoolgirl-kept-cage-father-four-years-Saudi-Arabia-accused-Islamic-behaviour.html#ixzz4FfigYnkx
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