A TUG-OF-LOVE toddler from Dewsbury is being wrongfully held by his father in Egypt, a High Court judge ruled.
Omar Antar, aged two, travelled to the Middle East country with mother Aisha Qureshi for a wedding last December.
Dad Abdelaziz Antar, who lives in Egypt, refused to let Omar return with his mum in defiance of court orders.
High Court judge Mr Justice Roderic Wood, sitting in London, intervened in a bid to reunite Omar with his mother.
He lifted media reporting restrictions on the case in the hope that publicity will put pressure on Mr Antar.
He said: “In yet another sad case a child is caught up in a dispute between his parents who are living in different countries.
“(Ms Qureshi) needs to obtain (Omar’s) return to this country, where he was born and where he lived until his father wrongfully retained him in Egypt.”
Clare Renton, for Ms Qureshi, said the couple met via the internet in 2008. Mr Antar was married with three children and living in Egypt.
It is claimed he told Ms Quershi he wanted a second marriage and hoped to move to England to start a vehicle import/export business.
They were wed in June 2008 in Dewsbury in a Muslim ceremony which was described in court as not recognised by English law.
Mr Antar then went back to Egypt, with Ms Quershi and Omar travelling several times to see him.
On one of those occasions Mr Antar is alleged to have stolen Omar’s passport as a way of keeping the toddler in Egypt.
The judge added: “The mother’s legal team believe publicity will motivate Mr Antar’s family and friends to put pressure on him to return Omar.”