Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun fled from her family during a holiday in Kuwait and boarded a flight to Thailand. However, when she reached Bangkok, her passport was confiscated by Saudi officials and she is now being held in the Miracle Transit Hotel at the airport.
Bangkok: Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, the 18-year-old Saudi teen who ran away from her abusive family, has been given asylum in Australia at last.
If reports are to be believed, a Thai immigration police officer told CNN, "Yes, Australian has granted her asylum, but we are waiting to hear where exactly she is going.”
Qunun, earlier expressed her willingness to go to Australia. However, Canada has also offered asylum and the authorities are awaiting the girl’s decision.
On January 8, Thai immigration chief Surachate Hakparn said that she was placed “under the care” of the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR .
"She is under the care of the UNHCR now but we also sent Thai security to help take care (of her)," added Surachate.
Qunun fled from her family during a holiday in Kuwait and boarded a flight to Thailand. However, when she reached Bangkok, her passport was confiscated by Saudi officials and she is now being held in the Miracle Transit Hotel at the airport.
She took to Twitter to express her ordeal and plead for help. She stressed repeatedly that if her family gets to her, they will kill her. “They will kill me because I fled and because I announced my atheism…They wanted me to pray and to wear a veil, and I didn’t want to,” she said.
The human rights advocates also came out in support of her and urged the Thai government to help Qunun.
“Saudi women fleeing their families can face severe violence from relatives, deprivation of liberty, and other serious harm if returned against their will…Thai authorities should immediately halt any deportation,” said Michael Page, the deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, according to The New York Times.
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Last Updated Jan 11, 2019, 3:16 PM IST