Written by Staff Writer, NewsOne
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — Reham al-Turaiji claims that Saudi Arabia attempted to lure her back to its consulate in Istanbul, the Daily Mail reports.
This is after the Saudi family doctor was pulled over in July. She was waiting for a check-up on her new baby at a Toronto airport when she was taken aside by customs officers who claimed that “you are travelling to Saudi Arabia,” al-Turaiji told the Daily Mail.
After a visit from two female Saudi officers, al-Turaiji says she was escorted to a white sedan where she gave them her driver’s license. But when she reached the car, Saudi officials discovered that she is Canadian. Al-Turaiji says the officers laughed before telling her to wait in the terminal until the trip to Saudi Arabia was over.
Al-Turaiji claims that she had to hang around for several hours before being allowed back into Canada. She says she spent 10 days without access to her phone. Al-Turaiji says that a set of confidential medical records that the Saudi embassy was pressuring her to give up were seized by the Canadian government.
In a series of tweets on Oct. 10, Al-Turaiji appeared to offer an alternate narrative to the entire incident, alleging that she was attacked by Saudi Embassy officials on the morning of the trip when they took her passport away from her.
In her Oct. 10 statement, al-Turaiji accused Saudi authorities of forging medical records and cutting off access to her clinic, mail and phones.
She’s been receiving political asylum in Israel since last month.
After The Daily Mail’s story broke, a spokesperson for Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Canada denied that she was forcibly deported.
“While being in the middle of an airport in Germany, she asked that her papers be checked by the Saudi consulate in Canada. Of course they opened the papers, spoke to her, but were still waiting for a decision and proof of identity. They will have to answer questions from her to answer such accusations of kidnapping in the media. We respect Canadian laws and they have not arrested her,” the spokesperson said.
She claims her passport was returned and she was able to get her phone back.