Saudi academic told to return ‘caged’ daughter to UK

A Saudi academic must facilitate the return of his 21-year-old daughter to the UK, a British High Court judge has ruled.

Amina Al-Jeffery — who grew up in Swansea and who has dual British and Saudi Arabian nationality — that says her father, Saudi Arabian academic Mohammed Al-Jeffery, has locked her up because she “kissed a guy”.

Lawyers representing Ms Al-Jeffery have taken legal action and asked Mr Justice Holman to look at ways of helping her.

The judge, who analysed the arguments at a public hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London in July, has begun to deliver a ruling.

Mr Justice Holman was told that Ms Al-Jeffery left Swansea and moved to Saudi Arabia with her family four years ago.

Mr Justice Holman said he had concluded that Ms Al-Jeffery’s freedom of movement had been severely constrained. He said she could be described as “caged” — although not literally “in a cage”.

The judge said Mr Al-Jeffery should give his daughter back her Saudi and British passports and pay her fare. He added: “Current circumstances are such that this British citizen does require protection. She is currently in peril from which she requires to be rescued.”

The judge said he had decided that he should take steps to protect Ms Al-Jeffery from London.

He added: “To do nothing at all would, in my view, be dereliction towards Amina.”

Solicitor Anne-Marie Hutchinson, who represented Ms Al-Jeffery, said after the ruling: “We have got exactly what we wanted.”

Mr Justice Holman said there was no reason to suppose that Mr Al-Jeffery would not comply with a proportionate order.

He said he accepted that there was little or nothing he could do to enforce the order if Mr Al-Jeffery did not comply. However, he said he had a “moral hold” over Mr Al-Jeffery.

The judge also said Mr Al-Jeffery might face contempt of court proceedings if he returned to Britain without having complied.

Mr Justice Holman said Ms Al-Jeffery should be returned by September 11.

He said he aimed to analyse the case again on September 13.


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