Amina Al-Jeffery: An open letter to Boris Johnson

We the undersigned write further to our to demand in the strongest possible terms that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office brings every possible pressure to bear on the authorities in Saudi Arabia to ensure the safe return of Amina Al-Jeffery to the UK without delay.

On Wednesday 3 August 2016, Mr Justice Holman, Judge at the Family Division of the High Court, ordered that by Sunday 11 September 2016 Amina’s father permit and facilitate her return to England and Wales and pay the air fare. The deadline has passed and Amina and has not returned. Mr Al-Jeffery is therefore in breach of the court order.

Amina Al-Jeffery, is a 21 year old British national who grew up in Wales. Under instruction of her father and not “of her own free will” she was taken to Saudi Arabia when she was 16-years-old. She has since been held “under constraint from her father”, with “constraint upon her means of communication with the outside world” and is being “prevented by her father” from leaving Saudi Arabia. She has described being held in inhumane conditions, being physically abused, deprived of food and water and refused permission to use the bathroom.

Mr Justice Holman recognised that the Saudi Arabian authorities will not protect Amina, stating that if Amina “were to run away, the police far from offering her protection from her father, would put her in prison”. Significantly, Mr Justice Holman also said: “This British person does require protection…and she is currently in a peril from which she requires to be rescued”.

Given that that Amina’s father has failed to respond to the court order, it is imperative that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office now acts without delay to ensure that British Citizen Amina is immediately safeguarded and returned.

Diana Nammi, Executive Director, Iranian & Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO)
Cris McCurley,
Partner at Ben Hoare Bell Solicitors LLP
Vivienne Hayes MBE,
CEO Women’s Resource Centre
Dr. Phyllis Chesler,
Emerita Professor of Psychology, Author, Activist
Nasreen Rehman,
Rights’ Activist and Historian
British Muslims for Secular Democracy
Umme Imam,
Executive Director, The Angelou Centre
Shahda Khan MBE,
NE CEDAW/ Women’s Network
Polly Neate, Chief Executive, Women’s Aid
Donna Covey CBE,
Director AVA (Against Violence and Abuse)
Maryam Namazie,
Spokesperson, One Law for All
Eleri Butler,
CEO, Welsh Women’s Aid
Pragna Patel,
Director of Southall Black Sisters
Carolina Gottardo,
Latin American Womens Rights Services (LAWRS)
Shamshad Iqbal,
Senior Domestic Abuse Advocate, Angelou Centre
Parveen Akhtar,
Senior Domestic Abuse Advocate, Angelou Centre
Rosie Lewis,
Deputy Director, Angelou Centre
Zlakha Ahmed MBE,
Cheif Executive Apna Haq
Estelle du Boulay,
Director, Rights of Women
Gita Sahgal, Director,
Centre for Secular Space
Gwenda Nicholas,
President NCWGB
Gina Khan,
OneLaw for All spokesperson, women’s rights activist
Anne Jones,
Domestic Abuse project worker Bangor Womens Aid
Jatinder Kaur Bahra,
Educator/Advocate for Partnership in Ending Harmful Practices
Pam Saleem,
Housing Services Manager Ashiana Network, London
Julia Hobbs,
Chief Executive, Glyndwr Women’s Aid
Lynne Sanders,
Director – Swansea Women’s Aid
Dr Amanda L Robinson,
Reader in Criminology & Co-Director of Research (Impact), School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University
Helen Swain,
Chief Executive Officer, Cyfannol Women’s Aid
Karen Ruskin,
Head of Fundraising and Communications, Solace
Dr Joanne Payton,
Researcher and Women’s Rights Activist
Deeyah Khan,
Filmmaker, Founder of Fuuse
Mutale Merrill OBE,
Chief Executive, Bawso
Rhian Bowen-Davies,
National Adviser for Violence against Women, other forms of Gender-Based Violence, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence
Emma Boyd,
Women’s Rights Advocate
Rashid Begum,
Solicitor
Zarin Hainsworth,
OBE, Chair of NAWO
Mandip Ghai, Solicitor,
Senior Legal Officer, Rights of Women
Sarah Green,
Co-Director, End Violence Against Women Coalition
Dr Adrienne Barnett,
Lecturer in Law, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Brunel Law School and member of the Advisory Group of Rights of Women
Claudia Belem, 
Domestic Violence Advisor
Annette Lawson OBE,
Ambassador, NAWO
Jade Quirke,
Solicitor, Hodge Jones and Allen LLP
Mary Mason,
Chief Executive Officer, Solace Women’s Aid
Olivia Piercy, 
Solicitor and legal officer – Rights of Women
Gudrun Burnet,
Director, Salus Specialist Training
Dr Maddy Coy,
Reader, Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit, London Metropolitan University
Nicola Sharp-Jeffs,
Research Fellow, Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit, London Metropolitan University
Yvonne Traynor,
CEO, Rape Crisis South London
Aliyah McQueen,
Senior IDVA, Victim Support
Dr Damian McCann,
Consultant Family Psychotherapist, Barnet CAMHS NHS Trust
Sophie Rowan,
Young Women and Girls’ Advocate, NIA
Kim Wallace,
Referral and Information Officer, Housing for Women
Siddiqa Chowdhury,
BME DVA Floating Support Worker, Supporting Communities
London Borough of Camden
Cllr Reema Patel,
London Borough of Barnet
Holly Thomas,
Independent Domestic and Sexual Violence Advisor, Camden Safety Net, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
Tanya Tracey,
Advocate, NIA

Originally published at The Independent

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