A British mother accused of cheating on her husband under Bahrain’s strict Sharia law was only freed from prison when her ‘abusive’ Muslim husband dropped the charges against her.
Hannah James, 26, is said to have survived on three meals of rice and water a day after her partner Jassim Alhadder told the police she was having an affair with a married man who works for the government.
After languishing in jail since early December she was finally let go when Alhadder, 29, personally told the authorities to clear her of the alleged adultery.
He told MailOnline: ‘I dropped the charges because she is the mother of my child and I still love her.
Broken family: British mother Hannah James, right, who was thrown in Bahranian jail after being accused of adultery by husband Jassim Alhadder, left, was freed when he dropped the charges against her
Anger: Ms James’ family say he accused her of cheating on him with a married man after she threatened to leave the country because he beat her. They shared photos on social media, above, which they held up as proof of his violent ways
Locked up: Ms James, right with her four-year-old son, is said to have survived on three meals of rice and water a day after Alhadder accused her of having an affair with a married man
‘I am her husband so I had to clear her, because of the laws in the country. She’s now been released and she’s in safe hands.’
Ms James, from Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire, is now stuck in the conservative Muslim country because Alhadder burned her passport, her family has claimed on a crowdfunding page raising money for her legal fees.
Alhadder denies doing so but his stories are inconsistent. He told MailOnline she lost the document but in another interview, he said she destroyed it herself after ‘hiding it in the oven’ and forgetting about it.
Ms James married Alhadder shortly after moving to Bahrain in March with their British-born son Nelson, four, who is now back in the UK with his grandparents.
Her family claim he turned violent soon after the move – and shared Facebook photos of a black eye and bruise on her arm as proof of the abuse she suffered.
They say Alhadder only accused her of cheating after she stated her intentions to return to the UK because he beat her.
Stranded: Ms James’ family claims she is now stuck in the conservative Muslim country Alhadder, above, burned her passport. He has denied the claim but his stories have been inconsistent
Happier times: Ms James married Alhadder shortly after moving to Bahrain in March with their British-born son Nelson, four. Pictured: The family together in the UK
Not so happy couple: But the British mum’s family claim he turned violent soon after the move and shared several photos of the bruises on her body as proof of the abuse she suffered at his hands. Pictured: Ms James and Alhadder before they moved to Bahrain
Mercy? Alhadder, who wants revenge on the man who had a relationship with his wife, says he cleared her of the charges because she is the mother of his child and ‘because I still love her’
Alhadder has hit back at the family by saying he acted in self-defence, claiming Ms James attacked him after he confronted her about the alleged affair, and that bruises show more clearly on her skin because she is white.
He said: ‘She’s been going out twice a week drinking and every time she tries to beat me up because she doesn’t like me anymore, because she has another man in her life.
‘Every time she tries to beat me up and I push her away. And every time she falls down in the house because she’s drunk and of course she will get bruises. I didn’t mean to hurt her once.’
‘She’s the one who has put herself in jail, I didn’t put her in there. She put herself there when she went with him.
‘She’s taken my heart with her – she’s taken my son, I will never see him again.’
Heartbroken Alhadder says he wants revenge on the Saudi-Bahranian man who he claims had an affair with his wife.
He said: ‘He’s run away because he’s afraid he’s going to lose his wife. But I’ve lost everything, I lost my family because of this guy.
War of words: Alhadder denies beating his wife, above, claiming she attacked him after he confronted her about the alleged affair
Accusation: ‘She’s been going out twice a week drinking and every time she tries to beat me up because she doesn’t like me anymore, because she has another man in her life,’ said Alhadder, who said he is heartbroken at the thought of never seeing his son again
‘I’m not done with him. This guy who made me lose my family, I have to make him lose his family too.’
Last night, Ms James’ mother Shelley confirmed her daughter had been released from jail and was in ‘safe hands’ but that she was still not allowed to leave Bahrain.
Shelley had earlier written in an online petition that Bahrain ‘is a law unto themselves’ and that her daughter was ‘suffering being in prison’.
Writing on a JustGiving page set up to raise funds to bring her daughter home, Mrs James said: ‘Things became very difficult for her as she was suffering from domestic violence.’
The British Foreign Office said in a statement: ‘We are providing support to a British woman following her arrest in Bahrain. We remain in contact with both her family and with Bahraini authorities.’
BAHRAIN’S SHARIA LAW
While rules in Bahrain are considered some of the more liberal in the region, they are still based primarily on Sharia law.
According to a report by Unicef, the minimum age of marriage for a woman in Bahrain is 15 – and this limit was only written into law in 2007.
A Bahraini man may divorce his wife for any reason while domestic violence is ‘not specifically addressed in the penal code’ and spousal rape ‘is not considered a crime’, the report says. A rapist can avoid punishment by marrying his victim, it added.
So-called ‘honour killings’ are punishable, though sentences are lenient for the killing of a spouse – a wife or husband – who is caught in the act of adultery, the report says.