Why Saudi woman can be arrested for disobeying her father

Why Saudi woman can be arrested for disobeying her father

A Saudi teenager who fled from her "abusive" family has been declared a legitimate refugee by the United Nations, the Australian government has said.

Australia's national broadcaster, the ABC, reports that the country's Home Affairs Department announced yesterday that it would consider al-Qunun's application for asylum if she was found to be a genuine refugee.

Earlier Wednesday, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says there will be no "special treatment" in the case of an 18-year-old Saudi woman's desperate plea for asylum in Australia.

She claimed that a Saudi diplomat seized her passport and tickets as part of a plot to forcefully return her to Kuwait on the next flight.

She was travelling to Australia on a tourist visa to seek asylum and barricaded herself in a Thai hotel room to avoid being sent home.

Her father and brother arrived in Bangkok yesterday, but Ms Qunun "refused to see" them, according to Thai immigration police chief Surachate Hakparn, who has been caught up in the worldwide firestorm since Qunun's arrival.

The Thai government allowed her to enter the country temporarily under the protection of the UNHCR while her case was being assessed.

Thailand initially said it would deport her at the request of Saudi embassy officials, barring her from travelling on to Australia where Ms Qunun said she had meant to claim asylum.

"We would have hoped that you'd have confiscated her cell phone - it would have been preferable to taking her passport", Sheaibi said, eliciting timid laughter from the translator.

Within 36 hours it prompted Thailand's government to reverse a decision to force the young woman onto a plane that would return her to her family.

Big drama: 'Rhapsody' upsets 'Star Is Born' at Globes
Gaga's dress drew a comparison with one worn by Judy Garland in the 1954 iteration of " A Star Is Born ". Instead, two of the biggest awards Sunday night went to Bohemian Rhapsody .

Now her dad has arrived in Bangkok with the wish to "talk to her", Thailand's immigration chief said today. "I only gave her my business card in case she needed anything or had any questions", he said.

Australian embassy representatives in Bangkok have also coordinated with Thai authorities and the UNHCR to "seek assurances" that she will be able to access the "refugee status determination process". After one hour he came back with five or six people, I think they were police or something and then they told me my father is so angry and I must go back to Saudi Arabia. She said family members physically abused her often.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said "the claims made by Ms al-Qunun that she may be harmed if returned to Saudi Arabia are deeply concerning". She alleged that she was being subjected to physical and psychological abuse by her family.

Even though Thailand has at least 100,000 refugees within its borders, the country is not a signatory to the UNHRC and has no legal protection to those who seek asylum.

Surachate further told reporters that Qunun would be "allowed to stay" following a meeting with UNHCR officials.

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has not asked for her extradition", the country's embassy said in a tweet.

Thai immigration chief Surachate Hakparn conceded that Twitter can "attract the interest of the global community" but denied authorities were swayed by Rahaf's social media barrage.

In some cases, Saudi authorities were involved in forcing women to return to their families and in other cases, local authorities suspected the women of seeking asylum and deported them, the activist said.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the activist said there had been instances where Saudi women runaways were stopped by authorities in Hong Kong or the Philippines en route to Australia or New Zealand. Like Alqunun, she had set her sights on Australia and reached out for help on social media.

Related Articles

  • Chance the Rapper Says Working with R. Kelly Was a

    Chance the Rapper Says Working with R. Kelly Was a "Mistake"

    I been living for 30 years and I never seen no shit like this. " Aaliyah looked anxious , scared", Smith continued. Express.co.uk has contacted R Kelly's representatives for comment about the claims.
    Weather Channel app sued for data mining

    Weather Channel app sued for data mining

    With 1 billion pieces of location data collected per week, the app had the largest set of location data in the world. The lawsuit was filed electronically Thursday, but not time-stamped under L.A.
    Trade negotiations with China going well

    Trade negotiations with China going well

    The Dow Jones industrial average soared almost 800 points in the latest twist in a wild three months for markets. Stocks have whipsawed between huge gains and losses for the last few weeks after their big December plunge.
  • Nishikori Routs Chardy To Return To Brisbane Final

    Nishikori Routs Chardy To Return To Brisbane Final

    Medvedev came back from 0-3 down in the first set then saved two set points in the first set tiebreak before running away with the second.
    Grizzlies acquire Holiday from Bulls

    Grizzlies acquire Holiday from Bulls

    We lost several cheap assets and managed to get a lot older on an already well-seasoned Memphis roster. Selden will be available for Sunday's game against the Nets, Cody Westerlund of 670 The Score reports.
    Novak Djokovic Stunned in Qatar by Roberto Bautista Agut

    Novak Djokovic Stunned in Qatar by Roberto Bautista Agut

    The Spaniard made the decisive break of serve in the third game of the final set to take a lead he never lost. He was very solid and I had to play very good tennis. "I did everything well today".
  • Kim Jong-un spends his birthday with Xi Jinping in Beijing

    Kim Jong-un spends his birthday with Xi Jinping in Beijing

    However China's state-run Global Times newspaper appeared to reveal the birth year of the North Korean leader in a tweet. Kazianis, Director of Defence Studies at the USA -based Centre for the National Interest, said in an e-mailed statement.
    Every living president has refuted Trump's claim about supporting the wall

    Every living president has refuted Trump's claim about supporting the wall

    ET "on the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern border", two days before he is scheduled to visit the border. The White House did not return a request for comment on Monday night to clarify Trump's statement about the presidents.
    Lady Gaga wins second Golden Globe award in her career

    Lady Gaga wins second Golden Globe award in her career

    Olivia Colman, who plays Queen Anne in offbeat royal romp The Favourite , and Bale won as expected in the comedy acting races. It came as a big surprise for the movie buffs when the two films won big at the awards.
  • Ukrainian Orthodox Church Officially Gains Independence From Russian Church

    Ukrainian Orthodox Church Officially Gains Independence From Russian Church

    Ukraine has accused Kremlin-backed churches of spreading pro-Russia propaganda, which Russian religious leaders have denied. Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko and former Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko were on hand to witness the ceremony.
    Carol Burnett receives new Golden Globe Award named in her honor

    Carol Burnett receives new Golden Globe Award named in her honor

    She was later identified as model Kelleth Cuthbert , who took to Instagram to celebrate her new status as a photobombing star. Cuthbert generated much talk and praise online after managing to photobomb numerous celebrities posing on the red carpet.
    7-Year-Old Jazmine Barnes Murder Suspect Charged

    7-Year-Old Jazmine Barnes Murder Suspect Charged

    The sheriff's office added that they were still examining evidence to determine whether any other suspects could be charged. Washington, along with multiple witnesses at the scene, described the shooter as a hooded white man in a red pickup truck.