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Saudi woman fleeing home gagged, dragged onto plane at Manila airport

THE ASIAN AGE
Published : Apr 13, 2017, 6:56 pm IST
Updated : Apr 13, 2017, 6:56 pm IST

Dina Ali had her passport confiscated, was gagged, tied with duct tape, wrapped in a sheet by two men at Manila airport in Philippines.

 She claimed that her family wanted to kill her and that Philippines and Saudi governments violated human rights and international law. (Photo: Videograb)
  She claimed that her family wanted to kill her and that Philippines and Saudi governments violated human rights and international law. (Photo: Videograb)

A Saudi woman was gagged, tied with duct tape and wrapped in a sheet by two men at Manila airport in Philippines.

According to a report in The Australian, Dina Ali Lasloom, 24, trying to flee from her family in Saudi Arabia, landed in Manila early on Monday morning, from where she intended to go to Australia and seek asylum. She said she had also obtained a tourist visa in secrecy.

However, her passport, boarding pass and travel documents were confiscated by Philippines Airlines staff and they said that they had orders to not allow her to board her flight to Sydney.

She said in a video, “They took me and locked me up for thirteen hours, just because I’m a Saudi woman, with the co-operation of the Saudi embassy”.

She claimed that her family wanted to kill her and that Philippines and Saudi governments violated human rights and international law. She alleged that they had confined her and treated her like a criminal.

Saudi Arabian women are not allowed to travel without approval from their male guardian, and Saudi embassies are known to assist families in tracking down women who have fled abroad, said the report.

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A Canadian tourist Meagan Khan who came to help her at the airport was quoted as saying that Lasloom said her family, her uncles, are very strict and abusive to her, so she ran away.

Khan said Lasloom’s family forcibly asked her to choose between being a teacher or a slave - and so the victim worked as a teacher. But she was not allowed to leave the house without being escorted by a man.

Khan also lent her phone to the victim so that she could put up posts on Twitter. On Monday afternoon, two men accompanied by a woman from the Kuwaiti embassy approached Lasloom, who identified the men as her uncles and Saudi diplomats.

One of the men claimed he was her father but she angrily denied it and insisted that he was her uncle. The tearful victim kept saying, “they’ll kill me if I go back”.

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The police interviewed her before she asked for a lawyer. A local lawyer was hired for USD 1200, who Lasloom said was hired by her family so that it could be claimed that she had received legal representation.

Feminist activist Moudhi Aljohani said that police officers fooled Lasloom into moving to Terminal 1 where she was forcibly put on a Saudi Airlines flight. She screamed and physically resisted, attracting attention of other passengers. She alleged that her uncles had assaulted her in front of the Filipino officials.

It is believed that Lasloom has been detained with an Amnesty International representative, said the report.

Ex-Muslim activist Taleb Al Abdulmohsen, who has helped people flee Saudi Arabia, said that Lasloom did not explain her circumstances to him. But he said that most of the people who sought his help were either domestic violence victims, gay or had rejected Islam.

Abdulmohsen recollected an incident where one woman who attempted to flee to New Zealand last year, was nabbed in South East Asia and sent back to Saudi Arabia, where a male relative sexually abused her.

Tags: saudi woman, dina ali lasloom, asylum-seeker