Saudi Arabia teen seeking asylum held in Thailand

World

07 Jan 2019

Saudi teen escapes family, trapped in Bangkok airport, seeks help

An 18-year-old Saudi Arabia teen has sought help from people across the globe and human rights organizations to prevent her deportation to Kuwait, as she fears for her life.

In hopes to to reach Australia and get asylum, Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun had escaped the Kingdom.

But her plans went south when she was held at Bangkok airport by officials. She narrated her ordeal on social media.

The case

Her documents have been seized, she claims

Her documents have been seized, she claims

As soon as Rahaf reached Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport, her passport was seized by Saudi Arabia's diplomatic staff.

The teen claimed she had travel visa for Australia but wasn't allowed to board the plane.

Instead, she was held in a hotel room by officials. From there, Rahaf shot a video and detailed the physical and psychological abuse she had to face back home.

Watch: Rahaf narrates her ordeal in video

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Deportation

Rahaf's friend reveals she is safe (for now)

The teen was supposed to get on a Kuwait bound flight on Monday but latest reports suggest she wasn't sent back.

Her friend, who is posting updates of her on social media, tweeted, "I have good news guys the plane is gone, and Rahaf is (safe) for now."

Before the scheduled departure, Rahaf had said, "I'm shouting out for help of humanity (sic)."

Abuse

Understanding why she escaped the Kingdom

Understanding why she escaped the Kingdom

Rahaf told a Thai Human Rights activist she was tortured by her kin after she renounced Islam. She was locked in her room for six months and beaten by her brother.

The Kingdom has constantly drawn criticism for its chauvinistic laws, which allow a male relative to take decisions on behalf of a woman.

Women need consent from male relatives before traveling too.

Saudi's stand

Amid brouhaha, Saudi officials say her parents sought their 'help'

While the case has turned attention towards the laws of the Kingdom, Abdulilah al-Shouaibi, of the Saudi embassy in Bangkok denied claims that Rahaf's passport was seized.

He said her father sought 'help' from the officials in bringing her back and the officials paid attention to his request.

In a statement, the embassy said she will be sent back to her family.

Support

Human Rights' bodies give their support to Rahaf

Human Rights' bodies give their support to Rahaf

Fortunately, Rahaf got support from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The body said asylum-seekers can't be deported to their countries if their life is in threat.

They are trying to meet Rahaf and have contacted Thai authorities for the same, the statement read.

Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch reminded Saudi's history of honor-killing incidents speaks for itself, hence Rahaf's concerns are genuine.

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Most asked questions

Who is Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun?

Where is Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun staying currently?

What did Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun say in the video?

What has Saudi embassy said?

More questions

Who is Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun?

Asked 2019-01-07 13:58:05 by Vibhore Mehta

Answered by NewsBytes

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is an 18-year-old woman of Saudi Arabia who escaped the Kingdom after her family allegedly abused her.

Where is Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun staying currently?

Asked 2019-01-07 13:58:05 by Vishal Patel

Answered by NewsBytes

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is staying at Bangkok airport. She claimed her passport was seized by officials.

What did Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun say in the video?

Asked 2019-01-07 13:58:05 by Ridhi Jain

Answered by NewsBytes

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun pleaded people to come to her rescue. She asked Thai authorities to help her in getting asylum process.

What has Saudi embassy said?

Asked 2019-01-07 13:58:05 by Vishal Jaiteley

Answered by NewsBytes

Saudi embassy claimed Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun's father has asked for their help in bringing her back.

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