Saturday 18 August 2018

Woman asks UK for help after father 'imprisons' her in Saudi

Amina Al-Jeffery
Amina Al-Jeffery

Cristina Criddle in London

A 21-year-old Welsh woman who claims that she has been imprisoned by her father in Saudi Arabia because she "kissed a guy" has asked a British High Court judge for help.

Amina Al-Jeffery, who grew up in Swansea and has dual British and Saudi Arabian nationality, claims that she is banned from using the internet, phone and even the bathroom. She has also said her father hit her and that she has "metal bars" on her bedroom door.

Ms Al-Jeffery described herself as a "locked-up girl with a shaved head", the judge was told.

"Her treatment has extended to depriving her of food and water, depriving her of toilet facilities, physical assault and control of her ability to marry who she wishes," her barrister, Henry Setright QC, told the court.

She had spoken of being "prevented from going to the bathroom" and being "forced to urinate in a cup".

Her father, Mohammed Al-Jeffery, an academic in his 60s, moved to Saudi Arabia from south Wales about four years ago and disputes his daughter's allegations.

Mr Setright said Mr Al-Jeffery had outlined his thinking in a letter written earlier this year.

"Regarding returning Amina back to the UK," Mr Al-Jeffery had written, "I am unwilling to do this as I fear she will go back to her old destructive lifestyle.

"As her father, I fear for her health and safety and only want what is best for Amina, so she may focus on her education."

Lawyers representing Miss Al-Jeffery have asked the judge to look at ways of helping Miss Al-Jeffery.

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