Manila, Philippines. The island nation of the Philippines is a strange setting for a show down in an arab drama, but that is exactly what took place today as officials scrambled to spin a decision to hold a woman 24 years old, until her “family” could come get her and return to Saudi Arabia.
A Saudi woman who reportedly fled the kingdom to seek asylum in Australia has claimed she was detained en route in the Philippines, until her father and uncles could collect her and force her to return.
The woman has been identified as Dina Ali Lasloom, 24, who travelled from Kuwait to Manila on Tuesday but was removed from her transit flight to Sydney and put on a flight home at the request of her family and Saudi officials, according to a video posted to Twitter.
In the twitter message filmed on a Canadian witness’ phone, believed to have been posted from Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport and in which her face cannot be seen, Ms Lasloon claimed she has been held for 13 hours like a “criminal” while authorities waited for her family to arrive, and she feared being killed by them if sent back to Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi Arabian embassy in the Philippines confirmed to media that a citizen had been returned to the kingdom, adding that what happened was a “family affair”, but the Philippines Bureau of Immigration has denied detaining the 24-year-old.
Meanwhile, no word of the young ladies condition is known. The Australian government has taken no action and the government of the Philippines is still claiming they did not force the woman to leave, but still have not clarified on what grounds she was removed from the connecting flight to Australia.