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WorldSaudi woman fleeing alleged abuse heads for asylum in Canada

01:05  12 january  2019
01:05  12 january  2019 Source:   msn.com

Saudi refugee in Canada expects more women to flee homeland

Saudi refugee in Canada expects more women to flee homeland A Saudi woman who has become a refugee in Canada says in an Australian television interview that she expects her experience will inspire other women to flee her homeland. Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun told Australian Broadcasting Corp. in an interview recorded in Toronto and broadcast in Australia on Tuesday that she hopes that the international attention on her flight from oppression in Saudi Arabia will be a catalyst for change. "I think the number of women fleeing from the Saudi administration and abuse will increase, especially since there is no system to stop them," Alqunun said. "I'm sure that there will be a lot more women running away.

Canada will accept a Saudi teenager who fled alleged abuse from her family as a refugee and has spent nearly a week barricaded in a Bangkok hotel room, says Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, an 18-year old Saudi woman who fled alleged abuse from her family to seek asylum , is headed to Canada .

A Saudi woman who fled her family and became stranded at Bangkok's main airport is flying to Canada after being granted asylum status. As her plane took off Police General Surachate Hakparn, the immigration chief whose change of heart on Monday allowed her temporary asylum in Thailand

Video by Reuters

BANGKOK — An 18-year-old Saudi woman who said she was abused by her family and feared for her life if deported back home left Thailand on Friday night for Canada, which has granted her asylum, officials said.

The fast-moving developments capped an eventful week for Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun. She fled her family while visiting Kuwait and flew to Bangkok, where she barricaded herself in an airport hotel to avoid deportation and grabbed global attention by mounting a social media campaign for asylum.

Thai police: Saudi asylum seeker is flying to Canada

Thai police: Saudi asylum seeker is flying to Canada 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. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); 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.

Thai police say several states considering accepting woman who fled alleged family abuse .

A Saudi woman who fled her family and refused to leave a Bangkok hotel has been declared a legitimate refugee by the UN, the Australian government says. On Tuesday morning she retweeted her original appeal for asylum , pleading for the UK, Canada , the US or Australia to take her in.

Her case highlighted the cause of women's rights in Saudi Arabia, where several women 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 go unreported.

Alqunun is flying to Toronto via Seoul, South Korea, according to Thai immigration Police Chief Surachate Hakparn. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed his country had granted her asylum.

"That is something that we are pleased to do because Canada is a country that understands how important it is to stand up for human rights and to stand up for woman's rights around the world and I can confirm that we have accepted the U.N.'s request," Trudeau said.

Several other countries, including Australia, had been in talks with the U.N.'s refugee agency to accept Alqunun, Surachate said earlier in the day.

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.

Four women , calling themselves ‘The Secret Sisterhood’, dressed only in jeans and shoes protested Al-Qunun’s treatment outside the Saudi Consulate in downtown Rahaf fled first to Kuwait with a view to flying to Australia to seek asylum , but was intercepted in Bangkok airport, where she alleges a Saudi

The young Saudi woman who captivated the world with her harrowing tweets claiming abuse has been granted refugee status by the United Nations. The AP reports that according to Surachate, Alqunun's father said he did not physically abuse her or try to marry her off against her will as she alleged .

Saudi woman fleeing alleged abuse heads for asylum in Canada© The Associated Press Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun walks 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) "She chose Canada. It's her personal decision," he said.

Canada's ambassador had seen her off at the airport, Surachate said, adding that she looked happy and healthy.

She thanked everyone for helping her, he said, and added that the first thing she would do upon arrival in Canada would be to start learning the language. She already speaks more than passable English, in addition to Arabic.

The office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees welcomed Canada's decision.

"The quick actions over the past week of the government of Thailand in providing temporary refuge and facilitating refugee status determination by UNHCR, and of the government of Canada in offering emergency resettlement to Ms. Alqunun and arranging her travel were key to the successful resolution of this case," the agency said in a statement.

Saudi teen says wants to work for freedom for women

Saudi teen says wants to work for freedom for women A Saudi teen whose flight from her allegedly abusive family captured global attention says she wants to work in support of freedom for women around the world for years to come. Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun was granted asylum in Canada at the request of U.N. officials.

An 18-year-old Saudi woman seeking passage to asylum in Australia after fleeing her family in Saudi Arabia and renouncing Islam will be temporarily admitted to Thailand, Thai Qunun’s friend has lived in Australia for three months, and said she was seeking asylum there after being abused in Saudi Arabia.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada has granted asylum to a Saudi woman who fled alleged abuse by her family and was holed up in Thailand. The Saudis also sold Canadian investments and ordered their citizens studying in Canada to leave. Alqunun had previously said on Twitter that she

Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch, cited Alqunun's "courage and perseverance."

"This is so much a victory for everyone who cares about respecting and promoting women's rights, valuing the independence of youth to forge their own way, and demanding governments operate in the light and not darkness," he said in a statement.

Alqunun was stopped Jan. 5 at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport by immigration police who denied her entry and seized her passport.

She barricaded herself in an airport hotel room and to her plight onto social media. It got enough public and diplomatic support that Thai officials admitted her temporarily under the protection of U.N. officials, who granted her refugee status Wednesday.

Alqunun's father arrived in Bangkok on Tuesday, but his daughter refused to meet with him. Surachate said the father — whose name has not been released — denied physically abusing Alqunun or trying to force her into an arranged marriage, which were among the reasons she gave for her flight. He said Alqunun's father wanted his daughter back but respected her decision.

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).

A Saudi woman who fled her family, alleging abuse , moved a step closer Wednesday to her goal of gaining asylum in Australia after a U.N. agency The case has highlighted the cause of women 's rights in Saudi Arabia. Several female Saudis fleeing abuse by their families have been caught trying

A Saudi woman who fled her family, alleging abuse , moved a step closer Wednesday to her goal of gaining asylum in Australia after a U.N. agency granted her refugee status. The Australian government said it was considering Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun for refugee resettlement

"He has 10 children. He said the daughter might feel neglected sometimes," Surachate said.

Canada's decision to grant her asylum could further upset the country's relations with Saudi Arabia.

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.

No country, including the U.S., spoke out publicly in support of Canada in that spat with the Saudis.

On Friday, Trudeau avoided answering a question about what the case would mean for relations with the kingdom, but he said Canada will always unequivocally stand up for human rights and woman's rights around the world.

Canadian officials were reluctant to comment further until she landed safely in Canada.

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

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

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 vacationing in Thailand in 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.

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Gillies reported from Toronto.

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.

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