World: Thai police: Saudi asylum seeker is flying to Canada - PressFrom - US
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WorldThai police: Saudi asylum seeker is flying to Canada

18:20  11 january  2019
18:20  11 january  2019 Source:   msn.com

Rights group urges Thailand not to return Saudi woman fleeing family

Rights group urges Thailand not to return Saudi woman fleeing family A human rights group urged Thai authorities on Monday to halt plans to deport an 18-year-old Saudi woman who says she is fleeing abuse from her family and fears they will kill her if she is returned home. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun said she fled Kuwait while her family was visiting the Gulf country and had planned to travel on from Thailand to Australia to seek asylum. She said she was detained after leaving her plane in Bangkok and told she would be sent back to Kuwait. She was scheduled to be sent back on Kuwait Airways flight 412 leaving at 11:15 a.m. local time (0415 GMT).

BANGKOK (AP) — A Saudi asylum seeker who fled alleged abuse by her family is leaving Bangkok on Friday and will fly to Canada, Thailand's immigration police chief said.

What’s Next for Fleeing Saudi Woman?

What’s Next for Fleeing Saudi Woman? A look at the path ahead for Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun as a United Nations agency decides whether she qualifies for protection as a refugee.

Police Chief Surachate Hakparn said the 18-year-old woman, Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, would leave late Friday evening. He gave no other details.

He earlier said several countries including Canada and Australia were in talks with the U.N. refugee agency on accepting Alqunun.

A spokesman for Canada's foreign minister said he could not confirm she was coming to Canada.

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.

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.

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. It garnered enough public and diplomatic support to convince Thai officials to admit her temporarily under the protection of U.N. officials, who granted her refugee status on Wednesday.

If Canada is taking Alqunun, it could further upset Saudi-Canada relations. In August, Saudi Arabia expelled Canada's ambassador to the kingdom and withdrew its own ambassador after Canada's foreign ministry tweeted support for the arrests of women's right activists. The Saudis also sold Canadian investments and ordered their citizens studying in Canada to leave.

Alqunun had previously said on Twitter that she wished to seek refuge in Australia.

Australia FM visits Thailand amid Saudi asylum seeker saga

Australia FM visits Thailand amid Saudi asylum seeker saga Australia's foreign minister Marise Payne met her Thai counterpart Thursday, as her country appeared poised to offer to asylum to a young Saudi woman who fled her family to Thailand in a drama relayed in real-time over Twitter. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun's attempt to flee the ultra-conservative kingdom has become a cause celebre for rights groups since the 18-year-old landed in Bangkok from Kuwait over the weekend. Thai authorities had threatened to deport her but with the help of activists, diplomats and a hastily opened Twitter account Qunun launched an impassioned campaign for asylum.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne met with senior Thai officials in Bangkok on Thursday. She later told reporters that Australia was assessing Alqunun's request for resettlement.

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.

Canada PM renews calls for Saudi blogger's release.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau renewed calls for the release of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi after meeting his wife on Friday, calling the issue "a priority" for him and all Canadians. Trudeau said Canadians' view of Saudi Arabia had been defined in part by its treatment of Badawi, who was jailed for 10 years for insulting Islam and has received 50 lashes of 1,000 to which he was sentenced. Badawi's wife and three children have lived in Canada since being granted asylum in 2013, a year after his jailing. "Freeing Raif Badawi is a priority not just for me and for his family but for all Canadians," Trudeau said.

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