Amina Al-Jeffery was born in Wales and also holds a Saudi Arabian citizenship due to her father, Mohammed al-Jeffery’s nationality. In 2012, Amina was taken to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia by her father under the guise of going on a vacation to Morocco, just days right before her 17th birthday. Now 21, Amina has been in contact with her British lawyer since December of last year claiming her father opposed her western lifestyle and took her from the U.K. because of her “un-Islamic” behavior and has since been punishing and abusing her.
Amina has been attending a university in Saudi Arabia when she was arrested by Saudi officials for kissing an American who has since been deported. Amina claims that after this incident, her father kept her in solitary confinement for four months. She has now escaped his home and is taking legal action against him.
Saudi Arabia follows Sharia Law
Just earlier this week, British judge Justice Holman ordered Amina’s father to return his daughter to the U.K. by September. Rights groups have been worried for Amina’s safety following the publicity surrounding her case and fear she is in “grave and immediate danger”. Amina’s father has stated to Britain’s High Court that he “will not allow Amina to go back to a toxic lifestyle.” He also admitted to locking his daughter in his apartment when he went out and has stated there is very “elaborate steel latticework” over the windows to prevent his daughter screaming for help. Judge Holman states that are reasons to be very concerned about Amina’s welfare since there was a degree of admission by her father.
Geraint Davies, a Member of Parliament for the city of Swansea where Amina is from, has written to U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson asking for immediate action in the form of a airplane ticket, passport, and safe passage home without delay for Amina. Amina’s father is refusing to cooperate with the consul in Jeddah which has Davies and others fearing for her safety. Davies is also worried that this case has wider ramifications because if British citizens can’t be protected abroad, it may give a green light to other cases.
Diana Nammi, director of London based Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organization supports women that have been victims of “honor” based violence. She is worried for Amina’s safety and is calling for the government to extradite Amina’s father. Saudi Arabia as well as other Gulf nations including the United Arab Emirates are no strangers to violation of women’s rights. The UAE as well as Saudi Arabia both use Islamic Sharia Law to discriminate against women.