Saudi teen who fled family under protection of UNHCR

Saudi teen who fled family under protection of UNHCR

Alqunun is under the care of the United Nations refugee agency as of Monday after barricading herself in an airport hotel room to avoid being flown back to her family.

Initially, Thai authorities said Qunun would be sent back to Saudi Arabia. She also said she had given up Islam. Rahaf was scheduled to be sent on a Kuwait Airways flight to Kuwait City, where her family is, on Monday morning.

A Thai court has dismissed an injunction request to prevent a Saudi woman's deportation, according to a lawyer.

Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun remained barricaded in an airport hotel room while sending out desperate pleas for help over social media.

Rahaf Mohammed al Qunun says she ran away from her family while travelling in Kuwait because they subjected her to physical and psychological abuse.

"My family is strict and locked me in a room for six months just for cutting my hair", she said. "They will take me to Saudi Arabia and my father will kill me, because he is so angry", she added.

She was denied entry because she lacked a hotel reservation or paid return ticket, Thai immigration chief Surachate Hakparn told Reuters.

The Saudi national said she was fleeing her abusive family, seeking asylum in any western country that would have her.

Saudi Arabia's Charge d'Affaires in Bangkok, Abdullah al- Shuaibi has confirmed that a Saudi girl who was with her father in Kuwait has managed to flee to Bangkok.

"As of now, she does not wish to go back and we will not force her". She said she intends to seek asylum there.

"She's very afraid", Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director Phil Robertson told TIME by phone on Monday.

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Alex Turnbull, the son of Australia's former prime minister, also called on current Prime Minister Scott Morrison to intervene and prevent her expulsion to Saudi Arabia.

Thailand's immigration police chief met Tuesday with officials of the Saudi Embassy in Bangkok, and said the officials told him they are satisfied with how Alqunan's case has been handled. "I can't study and work in my country, so I want to be free and study and work as I want", she said. I will be forcibly repatriated tomorrow to Kuwait and then Saudi.

"I cannot flee the airport, I've tried but couldn't". I can't even ask for protection or asylum in Thailand. "I'm shouting out for help of humanity".

Al-Qunun was detained on arrival at Suvarnabhumi Airport during transit while en route to Australia. Shuaibi denied that the embassy had withdrawn her passport.

Mr Surachate said he would meet Saudi diplomats on Tuesday to clarify Thailand's decision.

"When I landed at the airport, someone came and said he would process the (Thai) visa but he took my passport".

The Australian government said it would closely monitor the case, calling Ms Mohammed al-Qunun's allegations "deeply concerning".

The 18-year-old identified herself as Rahaf Mohammed Mutlaq Al-Qunun on an unverified Twitter account. "And I finally got my passport back". The woman revealed that she wanted to seek a refugee status in "any country that would protect me from getting harmed or killed due to leaving my religion and torture from my family".

Online, Arabic speakers, human rights activists and journalists have attempted to bring a media spotlight to the case on Twitter using the hashtag #SaveRahaf.

Another Saudi woman, Dina Lasloom, flew to the Philippines in 2017 while trying to escape Saudi Arabia.

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