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Australia'I'm so happy! They accepted me!' Saudi refugee who fled to Thailand claims to have been granted asylum in Australia and she will be leaving Bangkok to start a new life 'soon'

08:41  11 january  2019
08:41  11 january  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

Saudi teen Rahaf Alqunun's claim for asylum referred to Australia for consideration

Saudi teen Rahaf Alqunun's claim for asylum referred to Australia for consideration The UN refugee agency has referred the case of a Saudi woman claiming asylum to Australia for consideration. Rahaf Alqunun, 18, was stopped by Saudi officials in Thailand on her way to Australia. She barricaded herself in a hotel room at a Bangkok airport, saying she risked being killed by her family if she was deported back to Saudi Arabia. The UNHCR has assessed her case and found she is a refugee. In a statement, the Department of Home Affairs says it will consider the referral from the UN in the usual way.

A Saudi woman who fled her family and refused to leave a Bangkok hotel has been declared a legitimate refugee by She then started a social media campaign, live-tweeting her case Officials in Australia have hinted that her request will be accepted . "If she is found to be a refugee , then we

I ' m happy ." Her father and brother arrived in Bangkok on Tuesday with the intention of seeing her - but Thai police say she is refusing to meet them . Ms Alqunun was detained by Thai authorities at Bangkok airport when she arrived for a connecting flight to Australia and threatened with repatriation after she

Video provided by Nine News

A Saudi teenager who fled to Thailand fearing her family would kill her for renouncing Islam has claimed to have been granted asylum in Australia, saying: 'I am so happy, I will start a new life.'

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun made headlines earlier this week after she began tweeting from the transit area of Bangkok airport.

The 18-year-old said she had escaped from Kuwait and that her life would be in danger if she were forced to return to Saudi Arabia.

The Latest: Canada grants asylum to Saudi woman

The Latest: Canada grants asylum to Saudi woman Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will grant asylum to a Saudi woman fleeing alleged family abuse. Trudeau said Friday Canada accepted the United Nations request. Earlier Friday (Saturday AEDT), Thailand's immigration police chief said 18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun had left on a flight headed for Canada. Alqunun was stopped last Saturday at a Bangkok airport by immigration police who denied her entry and seized her passport. She barricaded herself in an airport hotel room and launched a social media campaign that drew global attention to her case. The move could further upset Saudi-Canada relations.

Australia says it is considering granting refugee resettlement to the Saudi , who fled from her family, based on Surachate Hakparn (right) before leaving the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok . The young Saudi woman who captivated the world with her harrowing tweets claiming abuse has been

Mistake fleeing Saudi teen Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun made at Bangkok airport. The UN has now granted her refugee status and she is free to apply for asylum in Australia . The 18-year-old who fled the oppressive Middle Eastern kingdom of Saudi Arabia last week has claimed she was tortured

Within hours, she amassed a huge following on Twitter as she refused to board a flight back the conservative kingdom and barricaded herself inside a hotel room.

Thai authorities allowed her to enter the country on Monday evening and the UN refugee agency referred Rahaf to Australia for consideration for refugee resettlement.

Yesterday Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne was in Bangkok after Canberra said it would consider giving asylum to the 18-year-old. Payne said there was no time-frame for the assessment of the case.

Now, in an exclusive interview with Daily Mail Australia, Rahaf has claimed her case has been successful - although the Australian government is yet to officially confirm this.

Saudi teen 'granted asylum in Australia'

Saudi teen 'granted asylum in Australia' The 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled to Thailand to escape her allegedly abusive family has been granted asylum in Australia, according to a Thai immigration official. Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun garnered worldwide attention after she began tweeting from Bangkok airport last weekend, saying her life was in danger if she were forced to return to Saudi Arabia. "Yes, Australia has granted her asylum, but we are waiting to hear where exactly she is going," immigration police chief Surachate Hakparn confirmed to CNN today. The Department of Home Affairs is yet to confirm the reports.

A Saudi teen has been granted refugee status by UN after calling for help from Thailand . Al-Qunun barricaded herself in her hotel room in the Bangkok airport after authorities tried to remove She said they were attempting to force her to board a flight to Kuwait, where she had flown to Thailand from.

A female Saudi teenager was granted refugee status Wednesday after fleeing to Thailand fearful her family wanted Qunun fled Saudi Arabia in fear for her life after she left the religion. She told Reuters earlier this week Three Saudi women who also fled the Kingdom and are now located in Australia

'They accepted me,' she said. 'I am so happy! I will start a new life.'

She added that she is not allowed to reveal where she is in Bangkok.

'I'm in a hotel, there is a policeman and guards for my safety,' she said.

She can't say when she will be departing for Australia, but said that it will be 'soon.'

She also doesn't know where exactly in the country she will be living.

'They told me they gave me an apartment but I didn't ask where,' Rahaf added.

'It's just like for three months.' She described the past few days not knowing her fate as 'so hard.'

'I'm so happy! They accepted me!' Saudi refugee who fled to Thailand claims to have been granted asylum in Australia and she will be leaving Bangkok to start a new life 'soon' © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Ms al-Qunun's defiant message after her ordeal in Bangkok airport was to 'fight and get your rights' 'I'm so happy! They accepted me!' Saudi refugee who fled to Thailand claims to have been granted asylum in Australia and she will be leaving Bangkok to start a new life 'soon' © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The Saudi teenager posted the caption 'Hey.. I'm happy', alongside a smiling selfie on her Twitter account after the United Nations ruled she was a refugee

'I survived from death,' she said, adding she had narrowly avoided the fate that befell journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Saudi woman seeking asylum in Australia remains in hotel, despite bid to deport her

Saudi woman seeking asylum in Australia remains in hotel, despite bid to deport her The flight that was to have removed a distressed Saudi teenager attempting to seek asylum in Australia has left Bangkok airport without her. How To Get A Home Loan With 5% Deposit Find out more on Finder Ad Finder.com.au Kuwait Airlines flight 412 took passengers on board and left without 18-year-old Rahaf Alqunun, who was detained in Thailand yesterday. Ms Alqunun flew from Kuwait and said she had a ticket onwards to Australia where she had hoped to seek asylum over fears her family would kill her for renouncing Islam.

She had been holed up in a Bangkok hotel room, after being stopped by Saudi Arabian diplomatic staff who claimed she did not have the correct documentation. "UNHCR consistently advocates that refugees and asylum seekers – having been confirmed or claimed to be in need of international

Australia is considering taking in a 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled to Thailand saying she feared her family would kill her , after the UN refugee She soon started posting messages on Twitter from the transit area of Bangkok ’s Suvarnabhumi airport saying she had “escaped Kuwait” and her life

'I'm scared to be killed just like him,' she said. 'From the beginning of Jamal's case, I was thinking about him and sad for him.'

Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.

More than three months on, his body's whereabouts remain unknown.

Turkish and US officials have accused Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of orchestrating the killing - an allegation Saudi authorities categorically refute.

Rahaf also opened up about living with her family in Saudi Arabia, describing it as difficult as she had no freedom.

'It was so bad. I mean, of course there are good days but they hurt me a lot.

'I have no choice to choose what I want.'

One person she misses is her younger sister Joud, who turned 12 today.

'I miss her, I tried to call her and say 'happy birthday' but she can't access a phone,' she said.

She also railed against online trolls who are spreading rumours on social media that she is lying about her situation.

'They don't know about my life and they don't know how my family treats me,' she said.

'I want life. I want to be independent. How can they say this just because I do something they don't like?

'I want to become a strong woman, I want freedom of expression, of religion and politics. I want to live a normal life.'

Rahaf arrived in Thailand on Saturday and had intended to fly on to Australia to seek asylum.

But after she was initially denied entry into Thailand, her savvy use of Twitter sparked a massive campaign with calls from all over the world for her to be granted asylum.

Her plight also drew attention to Saudi Arabia's strict social rules, including a requirement that women have the permission of a male 'guardian' to travel.

It also comes as Riyadh is facing intense scrutiny from the West over the killing of Khashoggi and over the humanitarian consequences of its war in Yemen.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted the Department of Home Affairs for comment.

Asylum 'likely' for Saudi teen in Thailand.
Immigration Minister David Coleman is "very likely" to grant an 18-year-old Saudi woman asylum only if she passes all security checks, The Australian reports.

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