Woman, 21: Dad Keeps Me Locked Up Because I 'Kissed a Guy'

Lawyers are asking British court to order her removed from Saudi Arabia
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2016 1:04 PM CDT

(Newser) – A 21-year-old Welsh woman says that, because she "kissed a guy," her father shaved her head and locked her up, putting metal bars on her bedroom door and preventing her from using the phone and internet—or even the bathroom, instead forcing her to urinate in a cup. Amina Al-Jeffery grew up in Wales and has dual British and Saudi Arabian citizenship, and says her father Mohammed Al-Jeffery, a 60-something academic, took her to Saudi Arabia four years ago, where he has kept her imprisoned and physically abused her, the Independent reports. Lawyers representing her are now in London asking a court to help her. It's not clear how they learned of her, though the BBC reports that she alerted the British Consulate in Jeddah to her situation. Her lawyers say it has been difficult to communicate with her.

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"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," one of her lawyers said, per the Telegraph. Mohammed Al-Jeffery disputes his daughter's claims; he says he took her to Saudi Arabia to "save her life," and that he "fear[s] she will go back to her old destructive lifestyle" if she is returned to the UK. That lifestyle involved taking drugs, not focusing on her education, and "going to clubs and spending time with older men," his lawyer says. Mohammed Al-Jeffery also says Amina shaved her own head. The judge is considering whether he has the power to make an order relating to someone living abroad, and suggested Amina request sanctuary at the British Consulate. (Police say an autistic woman was kept outdoors in a crate.)

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