Published: 11th August 2016
The recent case of 21-year-old British citizen Amina Al-Jeffery, who claimed to be held prisoner by her father in Saudia Arabia, has been widely reported in the news with the latest development being that she has been ordered home by the High Court. In a landmark judgement, Mr Justice Holman has directed Mohammed Al-Jeffery to return his daughter Amina Al-Jeffery to the UK by 11th September 2016.
Amina Al-Jeffery, born and raised in Wales until she was 16 years old, was removed from the UK in 2012 by her family under the false pretence of going on holiday. It was only at the airport that she realised she was being taken to Saudi Arabia and has not been allowed to return since, despite her wish to do so.
Her father's representatives explained that she was removed to Saudi Arabia to protect her as her father disapproved of her ‘un-Islamic’ behaviour – which she claims amounted to ‘kissing a guy’. Amina's legal representatives say that she was imprisoned at her Father’s home, in what she describes as a 'cage', and while Mr Justice Holman found this to be an exaggeration he did agree that she had been deprived of her liberty.
Mohammed Al-Jeffery admitted to keeping his daughter locked in his flat while he was out and that he had had steel barriers put over the windows to prevent her from shouting for help.
He also failed in an attempt to limit reporting on the case. Mr Justice Holman rejected his application for restrictions to be placed on what journalists could report as he said there were valid reasons for holding the hearing in public.
Mr Justice Holman said: ‘I happen to think that the case raises issues that require to be ventilated in public. This is not just tittle-tattle stuff. There are very serious issues here. I dare say the publicity is extremely disagreeable to the father.’
Amina Al-Jeffery's representatives described the outcome as a 'landmark decision' and said that they were delighted the courts in England and Wales had made the order to protect a British citizen from a dangerous situation overseas. They also said that their focus now is to ensure that Amina is returned to the UK by 11th September 2016, as per the order from Mr Justice Holman.
Mr Justice Holman concluded: ‘this court has a considerable moral and practicable hold over [her father] and we have no reason to assume he will not obey the order.’
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