Boy Kidnapped by Qatar Grandparents

A CHILD allegedly abducted by relatives in Qatar could suffer long-term psychological damage unless he is returned to his mother soon, it was claimed yesterday. Briton Rebecca Jones claims her 10-year-old son Adam was abducted three weeks ago after she was duped into travelling to visit his supposedly sick grandmother.

She left Bahrain with Adam on October 3 to visit her late Qatari ex-husband's family in Doha, leaving behind her husband of five years, Barrie, and the couple's four-year-old daughter Alex.

Mrs Jones earlier told the GDN that she and her son had spent two enjoyable days with the family, who were the "perfect hosts".

However, on the day they were due to return home, she received a call at their hotel requesting Adam be allowed to visit his ill grandmother.

Mrs Jones agreed and a driver was arranged to pick him up.

She said Adam, who has dual British and Qatari nationality, called to confirm he had arrived at the house safely and she was told he would return after an hour.

Instead, the 43-year-old was called by one of Adam's uncles who wanted to meet her to deal with an issue surrounding Adam's inheritance and only then did she find out she had been tricked.

The next day, her husband flew in and the couple filed kidnapping allegations with police and the Qatari Public Prosecution.

Mr and Mrs Jones have been staying in Doha since then to fight their case, leaving Alex in Bahrain with her nanny.

They are now in the middle of an international custody battle to get their son back to Bahrain, after being informed that her son's 77-year-old grandmother had filed for full custody of Adam.

However, a leading clinical psychologist said impact of the case and the trauma of being away from his family could force Adam into depression, isolation and possibly suicide.

"No one is thinking about Adam's state of mind. This is going to affect him greatly," said Batelco Care Centre for Family Violence Cases president Dr Banna Buzaboon.

"Being away from his mother at such a crucial time will create stress, depression, panic and will eventually lead to suicidal thoughts.

"At the moment he needs a safety net, which is his mother."

Dr Buzaboon said any abduction should be considered a serious crime and called for Adam to be returned to his mother immediately.

"This is not a simple matter. This child has been ripped away from his family and it should be considered as crime," she said.

"This is kidnapping, even if the other side argues that his relatives took him, because taking a child - and Adam is still a child - away from his mother is a crime.

"He is going to feel confused among these strangers, I call them strangers because to Adam they will be."

Dr Buzaboon said as Adam had already suffered an earlier tragedy when he lost his father in a motorbike accident in 2005, this could add to his grief.

She is also worried about how a long-running legal battle may affect Adam's mother.

"She must be in a terrible psychological state because she's been away from her son for such a long period of time," said Dr Buzaboon.

"She needs someone to be with her and talk her through this because this has an equal impact on her as well."

However, Mrs Jones will have to wait for at least another week to learn the fate of her son as the custody case at the Cassation Court in Doha was yesterday adjourned until November 5 for the judge to decide whether to grant her temporary custody.

A male relative appeared in court on behalf of the Qatari family and submitted a number of documents to support their case.

However, when Mrs Jones tried to approach him, he refused to talk to her.

"The judge adjourned the case once again to review the case file and see whether I should get temporary custody of Adam until everything else is solved," said Mrs Jones.

Mrs Jones said she was exhausting all of her resources to put pressure on the authorities to take action and bring her son back.

Her lawyer earlier submitted a number of papers to support their case, including some relating to Adam's schooling and other documents that support his studies at St Christopher's Junior School in Bahrain.

Documents showing he had been enrolled in several programmes to learn about Arab culture were also presented to the judge to study.

Part of the Qatari family's case centres around the fact that they believe it is wrong for Adam to be attending a British school.

Mrs Jones says she was earlier told by relatives that the papers she was asked to sign were for her son's inheritance, but she refused to do so because they were in Arabic.

She claimed one of Adam's uncles, who had maintained a good relationship with them, assured her that the papers were about a piece of land her son and his grandmother owned, which they wanted to divide.

Mrs Jones claimed she agreed because she had no reason to doubt them but after she signed it, she was told that she was tricked and this was a court order to take her son away.

Born in Sheffield, Mrs Jones moved to Bahrain in 1988 and married Adam's father 10 years later.

Adam was born the following year, but the coupled divorced in late 1999.

Adam's father, Jamal, returned to Qatar, but visited Bahrain frequently, until he was killed in a motorbike accident in Qatar in November 2005.

Mrs Jones said she stayed in touch with his family and had taken Adam to visit relatives in Qatar several times since his father's death.

Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office earlier confirmed it was providing assistance to the Jones family, but would not elaborate.
Boy Kidnapped by Qatar Grandparents Boy Kidnapped by Qatar Grandparents Reviewed by Bobby Gabriel on 10:12 PM Rating: 5

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