Activists feared Friday for the safety of a young Saudi woman they say was returned to the kingdom against her will, in a case highlighting tight restrictions on women.
Dina Ali Lasloom, 24, intended to flee to Australia to escape a forced marriage, Human Rights Watch cited a Canadian witness as saying, AFP reported.
The witness said Lasloom approached her while in transit at the airport in Manila, saying “airport officials had confiscated her passport and boarding pass” for a Sydney-bound flight.
The Canadian said she helped Lasloom film social media videos about her plight. In one of them she said, “If my family comes they will kill me,” HRW said.
Arranged marriages are the norm in Saudi Arabia, where a “guardianship” system requires a male family member, usually the father, husband or brother, to grant permission for a woman’s study, travel and other activities.
“Lasloom’s whereabouts are currently unknown,” HRW said in a statement from Manila.
The Canadian witness, who spent several hours with Lasloom at the airport in Manila, reported that two of Lasloom’s uncles arrived, the New York-based watchdog said.