London, July 20 (ANI): A Saudi Arabian princess has been granted secret asylum in Britain after she claimed that her country would award her death penalty for having an illegitimate child.
The young woman, who has a love child with a British man, won her claim for refugee status after telling a judge that her adulterous affair made her liable to death by stoning.
Her case is one of a small number of claims for asylum brought by citizens of Saudi Arabia, which are not openly acknowledged by either government, The Independent reports.
According to foreign policy experts, acknowledging such cases would mean highlighting the persecution of women in Saudi Arabia, which would be viewed as open criticism of the House of Saud and lead to embarrassing publicity for both governments.
The woman, who comes from a very wealthy Saudi family, says she met her English boyfriend - who is not a Muslim - during a visit to London.
She became pregnant the following year and worried that her elderly husband - a member of the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia - had become suspicious of her behaviour, she persuaded him to let her visit the UK again to give birth in secret.
She persuaded the court that if she returned to the Gulf state she and her child would be subject to capital punishment under Sharia law.
Since she fled Saudi Arabia, her family and her husband's family have broken off contact with her.
The woman has been granted permanent leave to remain in the UK after the Immigration and Asylum tribunal allowed her appeal.
Both, the British Home Office and the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in London, have declined to comment on the issue.
Relations between the UK and Saudi Arabia have been strained since 2006 when Tony Blair intervened to end a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) inquiry into alleged kickbacks paid in a multibillion military aircraft deal between the two states.
This led the Saudis to threaten to restrict the sharing of intelligence relating to terror activity if the prosecution went ahead. They also threatened to pull out of other highly-lucrative arms deals. (ANI)