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11 comments

Wasn't this the plot of the book and Sally Field movie Not Without My Daughter?

[–] TervenofBitches 0 points (+0|-0)

That was a different case in the 1980s in Iran, but very similar. In that one, Betty Mahmoody (American) and her husband (Iranian) married and were living in The US, where their daughter was born. After the Iranian revolution, Betty’s husband wanted to go visit his family in Iran, and then held their daughter hostage once they got there.

[–] La -3 points (+3|-6)

The thing is that generally speaking women can’t do that. Even in the US. If you are from Vermont and move to Texas and marry a guy from Texas and have kids in Texas and divorce in Texas, you can’t just pick up and move your kid to Vermont.

This is kind of crap of her. It’s where her kid was born and raised and has a dad. They weren’t living in the Us and went for a visit and he wouldn’t let her leave like in “not without my daughter”. She wanted to be there. Most women would be screwed.

[–] Medusa 6 points (+6|-0)

I'm sorry, but no. This man is an abusive controlling asshole. He got custody of their child and then fucked with her immigration status so that she was beholden to him - in other words, she could have permanently (? I could be misunderstanding this bit, but I know a lot of countries Do Not Fuck Around with people who illegally overstay their visa) been kicked out of the country, never to see her daughter again. If she would have "made up" and stayed there it would have been a nightmare for her daughter.

Leaving is the smartest thing she's done in this story.

[–] zephyrean 9 points (+10|-1)

Good for the girl, of course, but I'm completely unsympathetic to the woman.

The law specifically considers whether that country punishes people for their religion, politics, or sexual orientation with the death penalty — which Saudi Arabia often does.

...which is completely orthogonal to the matter at hand. Her predicament had nothing to do with "religion, politics, or sexual orientation" or the death penalty. She was a (favored) slave in a slaveowning country. Her husband definitely kept other slaves.

Vierra had written about human rights in Saudi Arabia

PhD focused heavily on human rights

Is all US humanities scholarship so goddamn worthless it can't even prevent the scholar herself from surrendering herself into slavery?

expat friends

Racist journo is racist.

[–] Medea 12 points (+12|-0) Edited

Completely agree with this reading. She's a highly educated, financially independent American, and very aware of Saudi customs. She has freedom and independence, which poor women in Saudi are deprived, and she opted into servitude? Wah wah.

[–] tamata [OP] 7 points (+7|-0)

Interesting.

Racist journo is racist.

Could you elaborate on this? I'm from the Middle East and to me "expat" means westerner working/living in another country than their own, so I'm confused by your accusation.

[–] 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.