Manama: A Saudi court will look into the case of a Lebanese national who allegedly converted a local woman to Christianity on September 15.
A Saudi national who helped the woman leave the country without the consent or knowledge of her parents will also stand trial, local news site Sabq has reported.
The case was filed by the father of the woman who was not identified but has been known in the local media as “Khobar woman” in reference to the Saudi East Province sea city where she worked.
According to the father, his daughter who worked in an insurance company, had fled Saudi Arabia after her Lebanese boss influenced her to convert and leave the country. He reportedly asked a Saudi man who had business connections with the company to forge a travel document that allowed her to leave Saudi Arabia for Lebanon where she stayed for some days before going to nearby Turkey and afterwards to Sweden. Media reports said that she was later transferred to London where she is staying.
The family believes that their daughter is a victim of a religious group that helps converts to Christianity. A relative did not rule out her being a victim of an international organisation trafficking in people.
A Saudi Arabic daily Al Youm has published reports in which it quoted the woman saying that she wanted to go home, but was afraid that she would face harsh punishment. Her family said that they had given a written pledge that they would not harm her.
Sabq reported that the Lebanese national, 50, had tried to leave Saudi Arabia after he became aware of the father’s formal complaint to the police.
Most Saudis reacting to the Khobar woman saga, now in its 16th day, have been calling for stringent action against the Lebanese and Saudi nationals for their alleged roles in the case, claiming that they were “well aware of the consequences of their act”.
While many were critical of the woman’s behaviour, the online users said that she should be helped to go home and be reunited with her family. However, several postings said that she should not be allowed to resume work at the company.