Judge set to deliver ruling on 'imprisoned' Saudi woman


A British High Court judge asked to come to the aid of a 21-year-old woman who says her father has imprisoned her at his home in Saudi Arabia is preparing to deliver a ruling.

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 and asked Mr Justice Holman to look at ways of helping her.

The judge, who analysed argument at a public hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London in July, is scheduled to deliver a ruling today.

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

He heard that her mother and siblings were back in South Wales.

Neither Miss Al-Jeffery nor her father was at the hearing.

Barristers Henry Setright QC and Michael Gration represented Miss Al-Jeffery and outlined concerns. Barrister Marcus Scott-Manderson QC represented Mr Al-Jeffery.

During the hearing, Mr Justice Holman described the case as very sad 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 said 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 windows so Miss Al-Jeffery could not shout out.

Lawyers for Miss Al-Jeffery discussed a range of ways Mr Justice Holman might help.

They suggested that he could order Mr Al-Jeffery to take his daughter to the British Consulate in Jeddah and let her speak freely to staff or could order him to facilitate her return to the UK.

Mr Scott-Manderson told Mr Justice Holman that Mr Al-Jeffery did not accept the jurisdiction of the court to make orders against him.

''He wants to help Amina. He says he brought her to Saudi Arabia to help her," said Mr Scott-Manderson.

"The father says Amina was at risk in Britain."

Mr Scott-Manderson added: ''As head of the family it was (his) decision to bring Amina to Saudi Arabia. (He) decided to do it because Amina was not focusing on school.''