[–] tamata [OP] 5 points (+5|-0)

Bethany Vierra married a Saudi man in 2013 and divorced him in 2019. In a Saudi court, they received joint custody of their child. Vierra was unable to leave Saudi Arabia because her ex-husband refused to renew her residency card, which made her an illegal citizen in the country and therefore unable to leave.

In order to get out of the country and return to her own along with her child, she (pretend-) made up with her ex-husband and asked him to let her return to the US for Christmas. He allowed it, so she left to the States and never returned.

This was a direct violation of the custody agreement.

From the article:

Arriving home in December 2019, Vierra sued for custody of Zaina, now 6, in a Chelan County court, which ruled in her favor on February 8 this year.

The court said it could not return Zaina to Saudi Arabia, as the kingdom often fails to ensure basic human rights in court.

"A legal system that is set up to not only fail to protect but to deny basic human rights ... is not a legal system whose child custody laws this State can honor," Judge Kristen Ferrera wrote in a ruling seen by Insider.

[–] Tnetennba 2 points (+2|-0)

which made her an illegal citizen in the country and therefore unable to leave.

Wait, what? Why don't they deport people with expired residency cards? I mean, I knew they loved slaves, but WHAT?

[–] tamata [OP] 3 points (+3|-0)

From the article:

Vierra's ex-husband, Ghassan al-Haidari, had refused to renew her residency card — effectively making it illegal for her to be in the country and unable to travel abroad. Every non-Saudi living in the country, no matter the gender, needs a sponsor to ensure their continued residency.

I'm not from Saudi Arabia so I really do not know how that works exactly. I assume that--generally speaking--when you are in a country illegally, you may leave but you would be banned from re-entering (the ban would last months or years depending on the situation) and most likely will be required to pay a penalty fee before you leave.

The article is implying that you literally can't do anything if you're in the country illegally, which doesn't sound 100% right to me, even in the context of Saudi Arabia.