Saudi Woman Forcibly Returned After Seeking Asylum

A woman from Saudi Arabia who sought asylum in Australia was detained in the Philippines during a layover and subsequently returned on Wednesday to Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.

Dina Ali Lasloom, in a video that was self-recorded, said authorities in the Philippines held her at the airport in Manila after confiscating her passport. Her videos have circulated across social media the past two days.

In one video she states her name and that she is from Saudi Arabia but fled the country to seek asylum in Australia, adding she was in fear of violence from relatives who brought her back to Riyadh.

The woman would not state why she had sought refuge in Australia and there was no immediate authenticity releases on the videos she is said to have filmed.

The embassy of Saudi Arabia in Manila released a statement that said the case was a family matter and said without going into details that she returned to Saudi Arabia with members of her family.

Women in Saudi Arabia are subject to a legal male guardian, who must give approval for her basic decisions related to education, travel, marriage and medical treatment.

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have during the past decade granted women new opportunities to work and study. However, women continue to be barred from operating a motor vehicle and must obey the country’s strict dress code that requires they wear loose robes when they are in public.

A tourist from Canada said that after the plane landed in Bali she allowed Ali use of her telephone to post videos.

Ali started to cry when two men who she said were relatives arrived at the airport in Manila, said Khan.

Activists in Saudi Arabia said Ali had been forced onto a flight on Saudi Arabia Airlines to Riyadh from Manila Tuesday.

She did not emerge from the airport in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, but a number of passengers confirmed they saw a woman being carried on board screaming.

A gathering of close to 10 activists in Saudi Arabia, which is rare, was near the arrivals area of the airport on Wednesday, but Ali did not emerge.

Alaa Alanazi one of the activists who is 23 and a medical student, appeared to be detained after being approached by security personnel.

Nada, her sister, said officials at the airport told her that Alanazi had been sent to a police station but she could not confirm the whereabouts of her sister.

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