A 21-year-old British woman has been held in a cage in Saudi Arabia for years by her father because he reportedly disapproved of her behaviour when she lived in the UK, a court was told this week.
Swansea-born Amina Al-Jeffery, a 21-year-old dual British-Saudi citizen, was taken from her home in Wales by her father Mohammed Al-Jeffery, four years ago, the court heard.
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“She is a normal Welsh girl and still has her Welsh accent,” said Anne-Marie Hutchinson from the Academy of Family Lawyers, acting for Jeffery. “She wants to return home so she can have control of her own life and make her own choices.”
The High Court was told she is now being held against her will at her father’s home in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, The Times reported.
According to reports, Jeffery is kept caged when her father leaves home. She had spoken of being “prevented from going to the bathroom” and being “forced to urinate in a cup.”
Mr Setright said, “(She) comments… 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 and creating a situation in which she feels compelled to marry as a means of escape.”
He added that the father believed Jeffery was “someone he has a duty to control, including her freedom of movement”. The father disapproved of Ms Jeffery’s “relationships and conduct,” Setright said.
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“Steps need to be taken to ensure Jeffery is returned to the UK where her safety can be guaranteed,” the Foreign Office’s Forced Marriage Unit said. It added that Jeffery’s British citizenship was not recognised by the Saudi authorities. Her father is said to have ignored orders to take his daughter to the British consulate in Jeddah earlier this week.
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.”
He added, “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.”
The hearing continues and is expected to end today.
Courtesy : Express Tribune