UAE British expats warned of Sharia law in divorce and child custody cases

Published:  6 Aug at 6 PM
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Tagged: UK, UAE, England
The British Foreign Office has warned expat women living in the UAE that they risk facing Sharia justice in divorce or child custody cases.

The warning came after a British mother applying for custody of her son was refused her petition during a Sharia hearing. The mother, Afsana Lachaux, was also found guilty of kidnapping her son and was given a suspended prison sentence.

Lachaux, already divorced from her French husband, had failed to arrive for an access meeting between herself, her son and her ex-husband, as she was scared of further domestic abuse. Neither parents are Muslim, but Sharia law can be applied to divorce or child custody proceedings if requested.

An official, translated statement regarding the giving of custody of the boy to his father accused his mother of ‘major sins’, including a failure to obey her husband and having gay friends. The child’s eczema was used as proof that Lachaux was an unfit mother.

She is now forbidden to see her son until he is 18 years old, and told reporters she had no idea where he was or even whether he is still alive. Human Rights Watch has expressed its concerns about the UAE’s failure to recognise domestic violence as a criminal act or to report its incidence to the proper authorities, and Lachaux has now returned to the UK and is fighting for her son’s return.

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