Canada: Thai police: Canada, Australia willing to accept Saudi woman - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaThai police: Canada, Australia willing to accept Saudi woman

16:32  11 january  2019
16:32  11 january  2019 Source:   msn.com

Canada played ‘critical’ role in urging Thailand to protect Saudi woman: Human Rights Watch

Canada played ‘critical’ role in urging Thailand to protect Saudi woman: Human Rights Watch Canada helped persuade the Thai government to let a young Saudi woman seek asylum rather than deport her to Saudi Arabia against her wishes, according to Human Rights Watch. Rahaf Al-Qunun, 18, was granted temporary access to Thailand on Monday under the protection of the UN refugee agency, which will evaluate her asylum claims. While the Canadian government has publicly commented on Al-Qunun's case, Human Rights Watch said Canada "should be proud" of its role in protecting her rights, telling Global News that  faced serious abuses to the point of murder if forcibly returned to Saudi Arabia.

Thai police: Canada, Australia willing to accept Saudi woman© The Associated Press Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, right, walks with an unidentified companion in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. Alqunun, the 18-year old Saudi woman who fled her family to seek asylum, remains in Thailand under the care of the U.N. refugee agency as she awaits a decision by a third country to accept her as a refugee. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

BANGKOK — Several countries including Canada and Australia are in talks with the U.N. refugee agency on accepting a Saudi asylum seeker who fled alleged abuse by her family, Thai police said Friday.

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Thailand's immigration police chief, Surachate Hakparn, told reporters the U.N. was accelerating the case, though he gave no indication of when the process would be complete.

Canada should welcome Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun

Canada should welcome Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun Canada should welcome Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun

Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun was stopped at a Bangkok airport last Saturday by Thai immigration police who denied her entry and seized her passport.

While barricading herself in an airport hotel room, the 18-year-old launched a social media campaign via her Twitter account that drew global attention to her case. It garnered enough public and diplomatic support to convince Thai officials to admit her temporarily under the protection of U.N. officials.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees granted her refugee status on Wednesday.

Alqunun's case has highlighted the cause of women's rights in Saudi Arabia. Several female Saudis fleeing abuse by their families have been caught trying to seek asylum abroad in recent years and returned home. Human rights activists say many similar cases have gone unreported.

Thai police: Saudi asylum seeker going to Canada

Thai police: Saudi asylum seeker going to Canada Thailand's immigration police chief says a Saudi woman who fled alleged abuse by her family will leave Bangkok for Canada. Police Chief Surachate Hakparn says the 18-year-old woman, Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, is leaving on a flight late Friday evening. He gave no other details. He earlier said that several countries including Canada and Australia were in talks with the U.N. refugee agency on accepting Alqunun. © Provided by thecanadianpress.com Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, right, walks with an unidentified companion in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.

By Friday, Alqunun had closed down her Twitter account. Sophie McNeill, a reporter with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation who got in contact with Alqunun while she was stuck in the airport hotel room and has kept in touch with her, said Friday in a Twitter posting that Alqunun "is safe and fine."

"She's just been receiving 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 wishes to seek refuge in Australia.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne met with senior Thai officials in Bangkok on Thursday. She later told reporters that Australia is assessing Alqunun's request for resettlement but there was no specific timeframe.

Payne said she also raised Australia's concerns with Thai officials about Hakeem al-Araibi, a 25-year-old former member of Bahrain's national soccer team who was granted refugee status in Australia in 2017 after fleeing his homeland, where he said he was persecuted and tortured.

He was arrested while on holiday in Thailand last November due to an Interpol notice in which Bahrain sought his custody after he was sentenced in absentia in 2014 to 10 years in prison for allegedly vandalizing a police station — a charge he denies. Bahrain is seeking his extradition.

Al-Araibi's case is being considered by Thailand's justice system, she said.

Fearing for Saudi teen's safety, Canada refugee agency hires guard.
Fearing for Saudi teen's safety, Canada refugee agency hires guard

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