Home / World / Saudi Arabian Asylum Seeker in Thai Hotel Heading to Canada, the report says.

Saudi Arabian Asylum Seeker in Thai Hotel Heading to Canada, the report says.



The Saudi teenager who has lived in Thailand for almost a week ̵

1; having fled alleged abuse of his family – goes to Canada on Friday night, according to a report.

Canada was one of several countries that have been in talks with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to accept Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, who was stopped at an airport in Bangkok on Saturday by the Thai immigration police, having been denied her entry and received his passport. fittings.

Reuters quoted the Thai immigration manager as the source who said Alqunun was going to Canada – who has been in a simmering month-long diplomatic spat with Saudi Arabia. No other details were offered immediately.

Having barricaded in a hotel in the hotel room, the 18-year-old launched a social media campaign through her Twitter account that made global attention to her case. Her efforts raised enough public and diplomatic support to convince Thai officials to admit her temporarily under the protection of the United Nations.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees granted her refugee status on Wednesday. The Thai Immigration Manager, Surachate Hakparn, had told journalists that the UN would speed up the case, but he gave no indication as to when the process would be complete.

The fall of Alqunun has once again emphasized the uncertain cause of women's rights in Saudi Arabia. Several Saudis girls and women who are abusing their families have been trying to seek asylum abroad in recent years and returned home. Human rights activists say many such cases have been unreported.

On Friday, Alqunun had closed its Twitter account. Sophie McNeill, a reporter with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation who got in touch with Alqunun while she was stuck in the airport hotel room – and kept in touch with her – said Friday in a Twitter post that Alqunun "is safe and good". [19659003] "She's just got a lot of death threats," McNeill wrote, adding that Alqunun would be back on Twitter after a "short break".

Alqunun had previously said on Twitter that she wants to seek refuge in Australia. The Foreign Minister there, Marise Payne, met with senior Thai officials in Bangkok on Thursday. She later told reporters Australia assessed Alqunun's resettlement request, but there was no specific time frame.

Meanwhile, the road was ready for teens to travel to Canada, according to the Reuters report. If she goes there, her case may add another interesting element to what has risen back and forth between Canada and the Saudi government, a spit that has severely strained relations between the two countries.

Everything began with a simple tweet last summer, after Amnesty International learned the Saudi government had arrested several female human rights activists. Among those arrested were Samar Badawi, whose family members fled to Canada in 2015 and then become Canadian citizens.

After the arrests tweeted, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland "Canada stands alongside the Badawi family during this difficult time and We continue strongly calling for the release of both Raif and Samar Badawi."

The next day, Canada's Foreign Ministry issued a tweet calling Saudi Arabia to "Immediately release" Samar Badawi and "all other peaceful # humanrights activists." The sensitive Saudis responded swiftly and called Canada's statement "an open and obvious involvement in the nation's internal affairs". The Canadian ambassador to Saudis was sent home, and relations have worsened since then.

Payne has also worked to increase attention to another case. She raised Australia's concern with Thai officials about Hakeem al-Araibi, a 25-year-old former member of Bahrain's national football team, who was granted refugee status in Australia in 2017 after moving his homeland where he said he was being persecuted and tortured. 19659003] al-Araibi was arrested during holiday in Thailand in November of November due to a message from Interpol where Bahrain sought his custody after he was sentenced in absence in 2014 to 10 years in prison for disappearing a police station – a charge he denies . Bahrain is seeking extradition.

Al-Araibi's case is dealt with by Thailand's legal system, Payne said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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