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Dina Ali was forced kicking and screaming onto a flight to Saudi Arabia. She hasn't been seen since.

On 10 April 2017, Saudi Arabian woman Dina Ali Lasloom arrived in Manila on her way to Australia.

Fleeing a Saudi regime that restricted the rights of all woman under its guardianship laws, 24-year-old Dina was planning to seek asylum upon her arrival in Sydney.

A day later, her arms and legs were bound, her mouth gagged with tape as she was forced kicking and screaming onto a flight back to Riyadh.

She has not been heard of since.

Dina Ali’s story was told during ABC’s Four Corners investigation into women escaping from Saudi Arabia.

This also included the story of Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, whose escape had a happy ending in Canada.

Dina Ali was not so lucky.

Canadian Meagan Kahn met Dina in Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s transit lounge. Dina requested to use Meagan’s phone, as she was having problems with her flight.

Dina Ali's boarding pass
Dina Ali's boarding pass for her flight from Kuwait to Manila. Image: Twitter.
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Meagan told Four Corner's that Dina's passport had been confiscated by official from Saudi Embassy and airline staff were not helping.

"[Dina] told me 'Meagan they're not trying to help me, they're not listening to me, they're just waiting for my family to come who wants to kill me' and that was the first time she said that to me.

"That's when she started sharing 'Meagan, I'm Saudi and I'm not allowed to go anywhere on my own. I wasn't allowed to travel on my own, I'm trying to get to Australia to seek asylum'. I couldn't believe it, to be honest. I was in complete shock."

Meagan and Dina desperately tried to get in touch with anyone they could think to help including human rights organisations and the Manila police. Meagan left dozens of voicemails.

To help her plight, Meagan recorded a video of Dina. Posted to Twitter, it would be seen around the world.

"My name is Dina Ali and I'm a Saudi woman who fled Saudi Arabia to Australia to seek asylum," she said in the video, her face cut off.

"I stopped in Philippines for transit. They took my passport and block me for 13 hours. Just because I'm a Saudi women. With the collaboration of the Saudi embassy.

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

The Saudi Arabian guardianship laws heavily restrict women's movements and freedoms. They cannot travel without the permission of a male guardian.

As author Mona Eltahawy told Four Corners, this power "renders women in Saudi Arabia perpetual minors".

Sitting in that Manila transit lounge, Dina's worst fears were realised.

Meagan described the haunting moment two Saudi men - Dina's uncles - arrived to take her away.

"She was sitting eating a sandwich, she was holding it and she just stopped. I looked at her and was like 'what's wrong?' and she was like 'Meagan, they're here' ... 'Meagan they're here, send a video.' And I was like 'what are you talking about?' ...'Is that your uncles?' and she goes 'those are my uncles'."

As Dina's uncles sat and spoke to her, Meagan took photos and video.

dina ali
Dina Ali, with her uncles in the Manila transit lounge. Image: Twitter.
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"I was sitting back down trying to take pictures and her uncle got up and goes 'what are you doing? Don't take pictures, give me your own, delete those pictures'."

Eventually, Dina's uncles left the transit lounge and Dina met with a man who said he was a lawyer. He promised to help her get back her passport and ticket.

Feeling hopeful, Meagan got on her flight. She wished she had stayed.

Dina called her the next morning. She was crying. Her uncles had tricked her.

Another passenger filmed as Dina was filmed screaming as she was carried towards a plane to Riyadh.

"They beat her, they taped her mouth shut, they bound her arms and legs together and dragged her onto a plane kicking adn screaming and nobody did anything," Eltahawy described.

Passengers on the plane confirmed a woman was carried on board against her will, but once its arrival in Saudi, Dina was never seen or heard from again.

The Saudi embassy in the Philippines issued a statement calling Dina's case a "family matter".

Sources inside Saudi told Human Rights Watch that Dina was taken to a 'woman's shelter' in the Saudi capital. These shelters, for women who disobey the guardianship system or shame their family, operate like prisons.

Once they go in, they can't get out. Not without the permission of a male guardian - even if this guardian is their abuser.

After that, the trail of Dina Ali went cold. To this day, no one knows where she is or even if she is alive.

The Philippines, a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and the Convention against Torture, is obliged not to return anyone to a territory where they face prosecution or a risk of torture of cruel treatment.

Human rights organisations have called for explanations and information from both the Filipino and Saudi governments.

Without an explanation - and even if we do eventually get one - Dina Ali represents the horrifying worst-case scenario for Saudi Arabian women planning to escape the kingdom.

You can watch Four Corner's full Escape From Saudi investigation here.

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