Judge asked to help Briton 'locked up by father in Saudi Arabia'


A British High Court judge has been asked to come to the aid of a 21-year-old woman who says she has been imprisoned by her father in Saudi Arabia.

Amina Al-Jeffery - who grew up in Swansea and has dual British and Saudi Arabian nationality - has complained that her father, Mohammed Al-Jeffery, locks her up because she "kissed a guy", Mr Justice Holman has heard.

She had spoken of "metal bars" on her bedroom door and of being a "locked-up girl with a shaved head", the judge was told

Mr Al-Jeffery, an academic in his 60s who moved to Saudi Arabia from South Wales about four years ago, disputes his daughter's allegations.

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 Miss Al-Jeffery.

The judge is analysing the case at a public hearing - in the Family Division of the High Court in London - expected to end later this week.

He said on Wednesday that issues raised were "important and difficult".

Mr Justice Holman said he had to consider whether he had the power to make orders relating to a woman abroad.

The judge said the "right thing" might be to order that she was taken to the British Consulate in Jeddah.

He said if she sought sanctuary, Foreign Office staff would then have to make decisions.

Neither Miss Al-Jeffery nor Mr Al-Jeffery have been at the hearing in London.

Barristers Henry Setright QC and Michael Gration are representing Miss Al-Jeffery and outlining concerns. Marcus Scott-Manderson QC is representing Mr Al-Jeffery.

Mr Setright said a solicitor had found it difficult to take instructions and attempts had been made to allow Miss Al-Jeffery to instruct lawyers via British Consulate staff in Jeddah.

But he said Miss Al-Jeffery had spoken to a member of staff at the British Consulate in Jeddah and her complaints had been outlined in a note of that meeting.

Miss Al-Jeffrey said there had been a "practice" of "locking her in her room".

A younger sister had been told she was an "evil girl". She said a sister had seen her in Saudi Arabia and found "a locked-up girl with a shaved head".

She said her father "locks her up because she kissed a guy".

She also said "metal bars are no longer in her room" but "she is still locked up in the house" and "not allowed to use the phone or internet".

She had spoken of being "prevented from going to the bathroom" and being "forced to urinate in a cup".

Miss Al-Jeffery said her father also hit her.