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WorldRahaf al-Qunun: Saudi teen granted asylum in Australia, officials say

10:16  11 january  2019
10:16  11 january  2019 Source:   cnn.com

UN says Saudi teen is refugee, Australia to consider settlement

UN says Saudi teen is refugee, Australia to consider settlement The United Nations has found that a teenage woman who fled Saudi Arabia is a legitimate refugee and has asked Australia to take her in, officials in Canberra said Wednesday. "The UNHCR has referred Ms Rahaf Mohammed Al-Qunun to Australia for consideration for refugee resettlement," the Department of Home Affairs confirmed in a statement. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Saudi consulate in Sydney to call for teenager Rahaf al - Qunun to be granted asylum after she fled her allegedly abusive family back in the Kingdom. to Rahaf that we can actually do that in Australia , that women can actually be free and safe,” Secret Sisterhood founder Jacquie Love said , as cited by

Image caption Rahaf Mohammed al - Qunun , pictured at Bangkok airport, says she "wants to be free" away from Saudi Arabia. An 18-year-old Saudi She has told the BBC that she is fine, and hoping to be granted asylum in a third country. She captured the attention of social media users around the

Rahaf al-Qunun: Saudi teen granted asylum in Australia, officials say© Immigration Bureau, Royal Thai Police Immigration Bureau, Royal Thai Police Rahaf Mohammed Mutlaq Al-Qunun the Saudi teenager who claims to be fleeing her abusive family and barricaded herself in a Bangkok airport transit hotel has left the hotel under UNHCR protection looking ìhappy and relaxed.î Thai Police Lieutenant Colonel Surachet Hakpal said ìWe will arrange a safe place for her to stay under care of UNHCR.î After meeting with Thai immigration officials and UNHCR representatives she has left the hotel with UNHCR staffs from back door avoiding the waiting media outside, Hakpal told CNNís Kocha Olarn who is at Bangkok. UNHCR released a statement during the meeting, it said that the UNHCR was ìassessing her need for international refugee protection and find an immediate solution for her situation.î

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, the 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled to Thailand to escape her allegedly abusive family, has been granted asylum in Australia, a Thai immigration official said Friday.

The Saudi teen who fled her family for asylum in Canada says her story will open the floodgates for more women to escape oppression

The Saudi teen who fled her family for asylum in Canada says her story will open the floodgates for more women to escape oppression Speaking from her new home, Rahaf al-Qunun told Australia's ABC network: "I hope my story encourages other women to be brave and free." Canada granted Rahaf al-Qunun asylum after she fled to Thailand to escape her family on January 5. © Reuters al-Qunun became stranded in Bangkok airport while she tried to get a connecting flight to Australia, and barricaded herself in a hotel room to avoid deportation. She was given refugee status by the UN's High Commissioner for Refugees on January 9, allowing Canada to offer her asylum.

Rahaf al - Qunun , 18, refused to board a flight from Bangkok and barricaded herself in her hotel room. Ms Mohammed al - Qunun posted a message on Twitter following the announcement, saying : "Don't let anyone break your Officials in Australia have hinted that her request will be accepted.

Rahaf Mohammed al - Qunun (C) speaks to Thai officials at a transit hotel near Bangkok. The United Nations has said an 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled her family is a legitimate refugee and has asked Australia to resettle her as the Twitter-led campaign to grant her asylum edged towards

"Yes, Australian has granted her asylum, but we are waiting to hear where exactly she is going," immigration police chief Surachate Hakparn confirmed to CNN.

Hakparn said Canada had also offered Qunun asylum and they were waiting for her decision.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR had referred Qunun's protection request to Australia on Wednesday, though it had not been confirmed before now that Canada was also considering her case.

Hakparn said Qunun, who is staying in an undisclosed location in Bangkok, would be leaving Thailand "almost as soon as the final decision is made."

"We are providing necessary security for her," he said.

Saudi teen refugee, now in Canada, wants to fight for other women

Saudi teen refugee, now in Canada, wants to fight for other women A Saudi teen who caused an international sensation by defying her family and seeking asylum abroad on Tuesday vowed to fight for women's freedoms in her first public address since she was taken in by Canada. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun captured the world's attention with a trail of tweets from her hotel room at Bangkok's airport, where she holed up after Thai authorities initially barred her from travelling on to Australia.

Rahaf al - Qunun says her family will kill her for renouncing Islam. The UN is determining whether she is a legitimate refugee. If they say that she is, Australia 's government is likely to offer her asylum , according to Australian news sources. A Saudi teenager who barricaded herself in Bangkok's airport

Rahaf Mohammed al - Qunun , the Saudi Arabian woman who fled her family and is now under UN protection in Thailand, has been sustained through the “terrifying” Now based in Sydney, Alharbi said she fled Saudi Arabia herself after suffering abuse from her family, and is seeking asylum in Australia .

The Australian Department of Home Affairs declined to comment to CNN, which has also reached out to the Canadian government for confirmation.

Qunun had flown to Thailand from Kuwait to escape her family, saying she feared they would kill her because she renounced Islam. She intended to fly on to Australia, but barricaded herself in a hotel room in Bangkok's main airport on Sunday after Thai immigration officials attempted to deport her back to the Middle East.

Qunun and her supporters drew global attention to her case through a social media campaign launched mostly on Twitter. She documented her arrival and subsequent detention in Bangkok on her smartphone, creating new Twitter and Periscope accounts where she received a deluge of supportive messages.

Her story has also put Saudi Arabia's guardianship laws, which restrict many aspects of women's lives, back under international scrutiny.

Coming to Canada 'worth the risk,' says Saudi teen refugee

Coming to Canada 'worth the risk,' says Saudi teen refugee Coming to Canada 'worth the risk,' says Saudi teen refugee

Image caption Rahaf Mohammed al - Qunun , pictured at Bangkok airport, says she "wants to be free" away from Saudi Arabia. An 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled her family at the weekend has reiterated her plea for asylum in Canada, the United States, Australia or the UK.

Saudi teenager Rahaf Mohammed al - Qunun (middle) barricaded herself in a Bangkok airport hotel room on Sunday to prevent being deported. Photograph: Thai Immigration Bureau Handout/EPA. Labor has said the Saudi teenager Rahaf Mohammed al - Qunun should be resettled in Australia

In response to the media campaign Thai authorities allowed her access to the UNHCR and did not deport her to Kuwait. Her online campaign was so successful that Saudi charge d'affaires Abdalelah Mohammed A. al-Shuaibi told Thai officials through a translator: "We wish they had confiscated her phone instead of her passport."

Qunun later tweeted the video of that meeting and wrote that her "Twitter account has changed the game against what he wished for me."

On Friday, Qunun's twitter account appeared to have been deleted.

Resettlement not an option for many refugees

Qunun's case is unusual because of the speedy offer of resettlement. It is not an automatic right for refugees and less than 1% of registered refugees globally are resettled each year, according to the UNHCR.

Refugees can wait their whole lives for a third country to accept them. The process is often assessed on the urgency of a refugee's individual needs, with the most vulnerable prioritized. Refugees can wait from nine months to several years to hear an answer -- longer if they appeal a refusal.

Rahaf Mohammed: Saudi teen granted asylum in Canada says she's one of the lucky women who escaped

Rahaf Mohammed: Saudi teen granted asylum in Canada says she's one of the lucky women who escaped Rahaf Mohammed, the Saudi teenager who fled her family and was granted asylum in Canada, said Tuesday that she was fortunate to have escaped. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); But many other young women in Saudi Arabia like her are not able to get away and take control of their lives, Rahaf Mohammed, 18, said at a press conference Tuesday. "I am one of the lucky ones.

Rahaf al - Qunun , 18, refused to board a flight from Bangkok and barricaded herself in her hotel Ms Mohammed al - Qunun posted a message on Twitter following the announcement, saying : "Don't let Many asylum seekers have tried to reach Australia on boats from Indonesia, often paying large

Australia to consider asylum request after home affairs minister says she would not get ‘special treatment’.

On Wednesday, Australia's Department of Home Affairs had told CNN it would consider Qunun's "referral in the usual way, as it does with all UNHCR referrals." Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton also said there would be no "special treatment" in the case, according to CNN affiliate Nine News.

"Nobody wants to see a young girl in distress and she has obviously now found a safe haven in Thailand," Dutton told reporters in Brisbane.

Shortly after hearing about Qunun's plight, Australia said that it would "carefully consider" granting Qunun a humanitarian protection visa, if she applied for one.

Such a visa wouldallow Qunun to stay permanently in Australia and have the right to work and study. She would also be able to propose or sponsor family members for permanent residence.

On Wednesday, Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Stefano Maron told CNN that Canada is very concerned by, and is closely watching, Qunun's case.

"We are in close contact with partners about her situation," Maron said. "Canada will always stand up for human rights, very much including women's rights."

CNN's Angus Watson reported from Hong Kong.

#SaveRahaf: Activists' lightning campaign made Saudi teen's flight a global cause.
On Sunday morning, a new Twitter account was created by an 18-year-old Saudi woman denied entry into Thailand as she fled from what she said was an abusive family. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The first message from Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, in Arabic, was at 3:20 a.m. Thai time (2020 GMT Saturday) and posted from the transit area of Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport. It said: "I am the girl who escaped Kuwait to Thailand.

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