A High Court judge in London is expected to rule this week in a bizarre case involving Amina Al-Jeffery, above, who claims to be held in captivity by her father in Jeddah.
According to this report, Amina Al-Jeffery, was taken to the Middle East four years ago by her father, academic Mohammed Al-Jeffery, when she was 16 because he opposed her Swansea lifestyle.
Mr Justice Holman, sitting in the Family Division of the High Court in London, was told she has been starved of food and water, physically abused, and will not be allowed to marry the man of her choice.
Al-Jeffery claims her father, 62, locked her in a cage because she was arrested for allegedly kissing and hugging an American student at a Saudi university.
Now 21, she has launched legal action against him. Last year she sent the photograph above to a friend in Wales, purportedly showing her in a caged situation.
The judge described the case as very serious and said Mr Al-Jeffery had admitted locking his daughter in his flat when he went out.
Mr Al-Jeffery also admitted previously having “steel latticework” over the windows so Miss Al-Jeffery could not shout out.
The judge said:
I provisionally feel that we – this state, this court – need to feel very concerned about the welfare of this British citizen.
The picture was sent to friend Robyn Lewis last November. Lewis, who studied photography with Amina at Swansea’s Gowerton School, said:
Amina sent me the message saying she didn’t want to be there. She said, you need to help me to get out of here.
Along with the photograph, Miss Al-Jeffery reportedly wrote: ‘Just because I am dressed up, I am dressed up in a cage.’
Amina is so intelligent and thoughtful. She taught me so much about Islam. Her father is portraying her as a rebel, she wasn’t. She did not drink alcohol. She had white British friends as well as Muslim friends, perhaps that is what upset her father.
Representing Mr Al-Jeffery, Marcus Scott-Manderson said the father had “required” his daughter to go to Saudi Arabia when she was 16 because he was concerned about the life she led in Wales.
Scott-Manderson told Mr Justice Holman that Mr Al-Jeffery did not want to attend the hearing.
He doesn’t want to discuss Amina’s return. He wants to help Amina. He says he brought her to Saudi Arabia to help her. The father says Amina was at risk in Britain.
Earlier in the hearing, Scott-Manderson told the judge that Mr Al-Jeffery wanted “reporting restrictions” to be imposed on court proceeedings.
But Mr Justice Holman said:
No. Afraid not.
He said there were good reasons for staging the hearing in public – even though it was in a family court – and allowing journalists to report freely.
He added said the case involved the welfare of an adult who was a British citizen. He said he had heard evidence in public and would deliver a ruling in public.
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.
His concern is that she is going to be at risk (in Britain). He is the head of a family that has its own moral and cultural standards.
Scott-Manderson reported that Mr Al-Jeffery had said:
I will not allow Amina to go back to a toxic lifestyle.