Open Letter to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office/Boris Johnson

Dear Mr Johnson,

Re Amina Al-Jeffery

We the undersigned write to ask in the strongest possible terms that the FCO brings every possible pressure to bear on the authorities in Saudi Arabia to ensure the safe return of this young woman to the UK without delay.

Amina is 21 years old. She was taken to Jeddah by her father in May 2012 because in his terms, she was becoming too Westernised. It is alleged that she is being kept against her will in the most inhumane conditions imaginable; caged, physically assaulted, deprived of food and water and refused permission to use the bathroom.

Amina has joint British and Saudi Arabian Citizenship: her Mother and many of her 9 siblings live in Swansea, and Amina is being deprived of all contact with them. Amina is subject to protective orders under the Inherent Jurisdiction of the High Court and orders have been made to try to secure her safe return to the Jurisdiction. Her father is refusing to co-operate with the Consul in Jeddah.

Today Mr Justice Holman has ordered Amina’s father to “permit and facilitate” Amina’s return to the UK, and to pay for her airfare, stating that she must return by 11th September 2016. Given the problems of enforcing this order in Saudi Arabia, we call upon the FCO to ensure that the order is complied with.

It is unconscionable that a young woman should be treated in this way, and she is entitled to the protection of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. We ask that urgent intervention is taken to secure her safe return.

Signed by:

Cris McCurley, Partner at Ben Hoare Bell Solicitors LLP
Pragna Patel, Director of Southall Black Sisters
Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid
Dianna Nammi, Director of IKWRO
Vivienne Hayes MBE, Director of Women’s Resource Centre
Rachel Krys, Co-director of End Violence Against Women Network
Rosie Lewis, Assistant Director of the Angelou Centre
Umme Imam, Director of the Angelou Centre
Shahien Taj OBE, Director of the Henna Foundation
Deeyah Khan, Film Maker and Founder of Fuuse
Shaheen Hashmat, Writer and Activist
Eleanor Linsey, Sisters of Frida
Gita Sahgal, Director of the Centre for Secular Space
Gwenda Nichols, President of the National Council of Women for Great Britain
Joanne Peyton, Women’s rights activist
Sameem Ali, Author/Politician
Sue Robson, NE CEDAW group Chair
Shahda Khan MBE, NEWN
Sharron Ward, Director/Producer of Katalyst films
Pat Garrett, Women’s Rights Activist
Hannah Summers, Journalist
Helen McCormack, Women’s Rights Activist
Rukshana Thakrar, Independent Social Worker
Polly Harrar, Director of the Sharon Project
Yasminara Khan, TV researcher/Journalist
Harriet Wistrich, Director of Centre for Women’s Justice
Libbey Maktari, Independent Yemen Group
Annie Bishop, NEWN
Henna Cheema, African Initiatives
Usha Sood, Barrister
Denise Gilley, ISW
Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson for One Law For All
Gina Khan, Spokesperson for One Law For All
Jasvinder Sahgera CBE, CEO of Karma Nirvana
Dr Phyllis Chesler, Emeritus Professor at City University of New York
Dr Paula Boddington Senior Researcher, University of Oxford
Lionel Joyce CBE
Kathleen Sloan, Women’s Rights Activist
Carol Meredith, Women’s Rights Activist
Becky Rogerson, Director of My Sister’s Place
Dr Hilary Middleton Price, Honorary Fellow of Manchester University
Lalaie Ameeriar, Academic and researcher, IKWRO
Dr Phillipa Dawson
Ruth Eagle
Fiona Nichol, Manager at Wear Valley Women’s Aid
Emma Boyd, Women’s Rights Advocate
Rashid Begum, Solicitor
Bal Howard, Project and Performance Manager HBV at Suffolk Constabulary
Sarah Smeeth, National Probation Service
Vicki Marcus, Consultant Social Worker
Professor Kathryn Hollingsworth, Newcastle University Law School
Dr Nicki Godden-Rasul, Newcastle University Law School
Claire Allen, Criminal Justice worker
Martyn Jones, Chief Executive Prif Weithredwr
Barbara Natesegara, BAWSO
Shelley Moore, Women’s Safety Officer
Ellie Richols, Comms Officer at African Initiatives

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