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Expat mother has child kidnap appeal in Dubai dismissed

A mother from Britain, who has been battling to clear her name for the kidnap of her own son, has had her appeal dismissed.

Afsana Lachaux is trying to regain custody of four-year-old Louis after he was handed over to her ex-husband when she failed to attend a child access visit in the midst of the fight for custody.

She was handed a one month sentence, suspended for a year in February, but has been trying to have the decision overturned ever since.

Mrs Lachaux has claimed that she is a victim of domestic abuse and she was not allowed to bring witnesses or give evidence at her original trial in front of the Dubai Court of Misdemeanours.

Rabbhi Yahiya, an older son of hers from a previous marriage, told the Telegraph: "The legal process is a farce to put it lightly. The courts did not allow her to even put forward a proper defence during the appeal stage.

"I have spoken to her and she is extremely disappointed as you can imagine. Moreover it is heartbreaking for her that she has not seen her son now for six months and no idea as to when she will next see him."

Mrs Lachaux moved to Dubai in 2010 after marrying a man from France, but in 2011 split up from her husband.

Despite having the option to push for another appeal, she is homeless and penniless with no right to work in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Mr Yahiya has set up a petition calling for the British government to intervene in his mother's case and so far it has been signed by more than 2,400 people.

A spokesman for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has said that it unable to get involved in the judicial process of other countries and will not comment on the outcome of the appeal.

The family wish for the conviction to be quashed and Louis to be returned to the custody of his mother, who hasn't seen him since October last year.

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