Judge concerned over 'imprisoned' Saudi Arabia woman


A British High Court judge says there are reasons to be very concerned about the welfare of a 21-year-old woman who has complained of being imprisoned by her father in Saudi Arabia.

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

Lawyers representing Miss Al-Jeffery have taken legal action in London in a bid to protect her. They have asked Mr Justice Holman to look at ways of helping her.

The judge is analysing the case at a public hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

Mr Justice Holman described the case as very serious and said Mr Al-Jeffery, who is in his 60s, was not seeing the situation through the "right perspective".

The judge said it was possible that Miss Al-Jeffery was being manipulative but there was a "degree of admission" from her father.

He 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.

"I provisionally feel that we - this state, this court - need to feel very concerned about the welfare of this British citizen," the judge said.

"These things are said. There is a degree of admission by the father.

"To take an example, that he locks her in the flat when he goes out. That he formerly had this very elaborate steel latticework over the windows so that she could not shout out through the window."

The judge said Mr Al-Jeffery was also refusing to let his daughter go to the British Consulate in Jeddah.

He added: "Provisionally there is a lot of ground for concern about her."