Mother launches appeal after daughter Elsa Salama is snatched by her father in Egypt
The mother of a five-year-old girl snatched by her father while on a family holiday to Egypt today launched an international appeal for her safe return.
Elsa Salama was taken by her Egyptian father, Tamer Salama, during a visit to his relatives at the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh 13 months ago and is believed to be being held by his relatives somewhere in Egypt.
Her mother Naomi Button, 39, Salama’s estranged partner, has neither seen nor spoken to her daughter since, and today issued a heartfelt plea to be reunited with her.
Ms Button, a leadership consultant from Leeds, travelled to Egypt four times last year to search for Elsa.
Meanwhile, Salama has been jailed for contempt of court in Britain after failing to comply with a judge’s order to return the girl to the UK.
Ms Button said the past year had been heartbreaking and she was dreading her daughter’s sixth birthday next month, because she feared they would be forced to spend it apart.
“The worst times are when I wake up in the middle of the night,” she said.
“I worry that she’s crying for me. I wonder that she thinks I just left her. I don’t know what she’s been told. I don’t know if she thinks I don’t want her and I just left here in Egypt.”
She added: “Please just let her come home to her mummy. She found it very difficult being away from me for any length of time. I know that she wants to be back home with mummy and I hope that they do the right thing.”
Salama, 35, who was training to be a physics teacher in Southampton, was jailed for two years in January for flouting High Court rulings.
Last week the sentence was extended by 12 months because of his continuing failure to comply with orders to reveal Elsa’s whereabouts. The court agreed to publicise the case to help the find Elsa.
At the High Court in London last week Mr Justice Cobb said Mr Salama had deprived Elsa of her mother’s love in a “gross act” which deserved to be punished with a jail term.
“I regard the continued state of affairs as one which is wholly outside Elsa’s best interests and I believe that the father needs now to wake up and recognise that,” the judge said.
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson said: “We have been providing consular assistance to Ms Button since December 2011 and continue to do so. While Elsa is in Egypt, the Egyptian Police are responsible for locating her, since they have powers to investigate matters in Egypt.”
Last month Atiya Anjum-Wilkinson, 6, was reunited with her British mother three years after she was was abducted by her father and taken to Pakistan.
- 1 Eurovision 2015: Graham Norton returns with another cutting commentary - his best lines
- 2 Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
- 3 Eurovision 2015 winner: Sweden beats Russia and Italy to take title from Conchita Wurst
- 4 Mother 'will allow son's circumcision in return for release from prison'
- 5 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
Greek hospitals cannot afford painkillers, scissors or sheets as budget cuts bite
Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
Bulgarian seaside resort Sunny Beach is cheapest for beer
Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...