‘No one listened’: Mother of Cheshire boy kidnapped by father says she tipped off authorities | UK News
A woman whose seven-year-old son was abducted by his father and taken to Saudi Arabia said she repeatedly warned authorities it would happen but “no one listened”.
Ranem Elkhalidi has not seen or spoken to Ibrahim Faraj since November, when he was abducted by his father, Hamzah Faraj, in violation of a court order.
She now fears she may never see her son again, who was born in the UK and speaks only English, as there is no extradition treaty in place between the two countries.
“He is still so bubbly and still laughing and a bit of a prankster playing tricks. He loves animals, we have two pugs and a cat who are like his best friends, he was always rushing from school to see them,” she said.
Elkhalidi last saw her son on November 11, when she dropped him off at her primary school in Frodsham, Cheshire. He was to spend the weekend with his father, who had joint custody after the couple separated.
However, the following Monday, Ibrahim’s school called to say he had not shown up and they had been unable to get in touch with Faraj.
Elkhalidi called the police and it was discovered that Faraj had flown with Ibrahim from Manchester Airport to the Saudi port city of Jeddah on Saturday.
“I was angry, I was like, ‘I told everyone but nobody listened to me,'” said Elkhalidi, who is from Palestine and lives as a refugee in the UK. .
“After that moment the police did their best to help me but there was nothing to do from here as long as Ibrahim was there.”
Just nine days earlier, Elkhalidi had obtained an order from Liverpool Family Court to prevent Faraj from taking Ibrahim out of the country. She had said she feared this would happen due to Faraj’s temper and said it was a trend among Saudi families.
Authorities believed Faraj would not be able to get Ibrahim out of the UK because his mother had his passport, but Faraj managed to obtain a travel document from the Saudi Embassy.
Other court orders have been ignored and there has been no communication between Faraj and UK authorities since he fled.
Elkhalidi said she tried several times to contact Faraj and his family in Saudi Arabia using other relatives as intermediaries, but it was not possible to speak to her son.
“They hide it. I don’t know where he is now,” she said.
It was also impossible to find anyone in the country to help him. “He’s a man, so they stick with him,” she said.
Last week, Elkhalidi obtained a publicity order so she could speak openly about her son’s kidnapping.
Mrs Justice Knowles of the Royal Courts of Justice said Faraj was aware of the court orders in place but had taken no steps to bring Ibrahim home. He was given links to attend his court dates remotely, but did not show up.
A statement released by the court said: “The High Court determined based on the evidence presented to the court that Ibrahim was wrongfully deported from this jurisdiction to Saudi Arabia by the father and issued several orders that Ibrahim has been returning home to England since December 2023. None of these orders were obeyed by his father.
Cheshire Police said information about Faraj “has now been released as wanted for child abduction in the National Police database”.
“All relevant authorities have been notified and officers continue to make every effort to return the child to the UK,” the force said in a statement.