British-Saudi dual citizen Amina al-Jeffrey was taken to Saudi Arabia by her father after she kissed a boy at 16. She is desperate to return to the UK.
Amina al-Jeffrey was born in Swansea, UK, and taken at age 16 to Saudi Arabia by her father, who disapproved of her Western lifestyle.
Now 21, she is fighting a court battle in the High Court in London against her father to be allowed to return to the UK.
She alleges that her father, Mohammed al-Jeffrey, put “metal bars” on her bedroom and described being a “locked-up girl with a shaved head.”
Still a judge in the High Court, Justice Holman, has asserted, “We have to be careful about asserting the supremacy our cultural standards.”
Holman also said that it is unclear whether or not Britain had jurisdiction in the matter since al-Jeffrey was an adult with dual Saudi and UK citizenship.
Al-Jeffrey said her father hit her, deprived her of water and forced her to urinate in a cup.
Although “metal bars are no longer in her room” according to her lawyers, “she is still locked up in the house” and “not allowed to use the phone or internet.”
“Steps need to be taken to ensure Ms. Jeffery is returned to the UK where her safety can be guaranteed,” the Foreign Office Forced Marriage Unit said in a statement.
“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,” Henry Setright, a lawyer acting on behalf of al-Jeffrey said in a statement.
He described the situation as a “fundamental breach of human rights.”
Saudi Arabia does not recognize al-Jeffrey’s British citizenship. They are also paying for her father’s legal fees.
“Regarding returning Amina back to the UK, I am unwilling to do this as I fear she will go back to her old destructive lifestyle,” her father said in a letter submitted to the court.
“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.”
“She is a normal Welsh girl and still has her Welsh accent,” said Anne-Marie Hutchinson, from the Academy of Family Lawyers who is representing al-Jeffrey.
“She wants to return home so she can have control of her own life and make her own choices.”