Since tribal loyalties are far more powerful than the rule of law. Not to mention, in Islam, the law often works in favor of the man, even in child custody cases. Hence, this “powerless judge” (another oxymoron made possible by Dar al-Islam). Update on this story. “Group to help custody mum,” by Geoffrey Bew, for the Gulf Daily News, August, 23:
A SUPPORT group is to be set up to help a Filipino mother at the centre of a tug-of-love custody battle.
Suzanne Baldago, who is spearheading the initiative, said several parents had already promised to be part of the group, which aims to create a network of people sympathetic to Lecita Flores’ cause.
They plan to provide her with financial and practical support such as donating funds towards her legal fees, providing transportation and translating documents from Arabic to English.
Ms Flores has been battling for custody of her daughter Sarah, now aged five, through the courts in Kuwait and Bahrain since 2004.
She was granted custody of the child during a Sharia Court hearing in March, but her ex-husband refused to hand the child over – despite four court orders obliging him to do so.
He eventually did and was granted visitation rights, but failed to return Sarah after taking her for a visit.
In June, the Execution Court also ordered Sarah be returned to her after the girl’s father was arrested for breaching his visitation rights.
However, he was freed following a Sharia Court hearing at the Justice Ministry in Manama last month, despite refusing to reveal his daughter’s whereabouts.
The judge said he was powerless to keep the father locked up and told the mother she would have to file another criminal case against him.
Ms Baldago, a Filipina married to a Bahraini with three children, said she was touched by the plight of Ms Flores and a sense of injustice in the case.
“I just feel this case has been dragging on for a long time and nothing has happened, even though the judgement was given in her favour,” she told the GDN.[…]
Ms Flores, 42, first raised a case against her ex-husband in Kuwait, where the couple met and married.
The Kuwait Sharia Court granted her full custody of her daughter after he fled to Bahrain with Sarah, telling Ms Flores later that he had divorced her and was keeping Sarah.
When she followed him to Bahrain in November 2004, she was told she had to file a case here as the Kuwaiti ruling did not apply.
Ms Flores’ ex-husband had also earlier broken a court order in 2005 and fled with the child to Qatar, where he has relatives.
But he was persuaded to return several months later after the intervention of Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society (BHRWS), which threatened him with a kidnapping charge.
Anyone interested in joining the support group can contact Ms Baldago on 36323020 or via e-mail at email@example.com.