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The New Arab

Family 'kidnap' Saudi woman who fled for Australia

The woman was reportedly forced onto a flight toward Riyadh [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 April, 2017

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The fate of a Saudi girl who attempted to flee her home to seek asylum in Australia before being forced to return to the kingdom remains unknown.

A young Saudi woman who allegedly fled her home to seek asylum in Australia was reportedly held in custody during her transit at Philippines' Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) until family members arrived to forcefully return her to the kingdom.

Dina Ali Lasloom was taken off her Australian-bound flight and put on a Saudi Airlines flight back home on request of officials from the kingdom's embassy in Manila, reports said.

Members of Lasloom's family are understood to have flown out to Manila to bring the young woman back to Saudi Arabia. They reportedly tied her up with duct tape and wrapped a bedsheet around her to drag her onto a Riyadh-bound flight.

In a video recorded while Lasloom was still in the Philippines, she explained she had fled to seek asylum only to be "locked up for 13 hours in collaboration with the Saudi embassy".

"If my family come they will kill me, if I go back to Saudi Arabia I will be dead," she pleads.

"The Philippines government and Saudi Arabia are violating human rights and international law," she claims. "I'm kept here as a criminal, I can't do anything and I can't go out. They took my passport and all my papers because they are waiting for my family to come and take me.

"If anything happens to me that's on Philippines Airlines and the Saudi Arabia government," she concludes.

The video soon went viral on social media and calls to stand in solidarity were echoed using the hashtag #SaveDinaAli.

A group of journalists and citizens reportedly waited for Lasloom at Riyadh's airport after posts confirming her flight details were shared online.

Four Saudi police cars were reportedly seen outside the airport, according to Twitter users, however the fate of Lasloom remains unknown.

Saudi-based journalist Vivien Nereim, who was at the airport, said there were no signs of the young girl, however confirmed the Saudi Human Rights Commission was following the case. 

Under the kingdom's conservative interpretation of Islamic law, women, who suffer from widespread inequality and oppression, are prohibited from travelling without a male guardian.

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