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WorldSaudi Teenager Fleeing Family Arrives Safely in Canada

00:30  13 january  2019
00:30  13 january  2019 Source:   nytimes.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.

TORONTO — It was another proud moment for Canada : a Saudi teenager who had just been granted asylum walking through the arrivals gate at Toronto airport embraced by the country’s popular foreign minister.

TORONTO (Reuters) - An 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled her family this week saying she feared for her life arrived in Toronto on Saturday after.

Saudi Teenager Fleeing Family Arrives Safely in Canada© Cole Burston/Getty Images Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun at the Toronto international airport on Saturday.

TORONTO — It was another proud moment for Canada: a Saudi teenager who had just been granted asylum walking through the arrivals gate at Toronto airport embraced by the country’s popular foreign minister.

Wearing a gray sweatshirt emblazoned with the word “Canada,” 18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun smiled at the throng of cameras that greeted her. But she left it to Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland to do the talking.

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The minister presented her as a “very brave new Canadian,” adding that the young woman — who spent the last week in a Bangkok airport hotel lobbying for her freedom — was tired and just wanted to “go to her new home.”

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

A Saudi teenager who fled her family and got stranded at a Bangkok airport has arrived in Canada after being granted asylum there. Canada 's Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland introduced the teenager as "a very brave new Canadian " but said that Ms al-Qunun was tired from her ordeal and

Canada 's Foreign Minister said Saturday, after a young Saudi women fled to Canada out of fear for her life Eighteen-year-old Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun was greeted by Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland as she arrived from Thailand in the Canadian city of Toronto Saturday morning via Seoul, South Korea.

“Where we can save a single person, where we can save a single woman, that is a good thing to do,” said Ms. Freeland, who refused to answer repeated questions about how this decision will affect Canada’s already strained relationship with Saudi Arabia. “And I’d like to also emphasize, this is part of a broader Canadian policy of supporting women and girls in Canada and around the world.”

The Saudi teenager became a social media sensation and cause celébrè for women’s and refugee rights after fleeing her family during a holiday in Kuwait to seek asylum.

She described her life in an interview with The New York Times as one of unrelenting abuse at the hands of her family, who live in the city of Hail, in northern Saudi Arabia. She said she was once locked in a room for six months because she had cut her hair in a way that her family did not approve of and that her family members used to beat her, particularly her brother.

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

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

A Saudi teen who was granted asylum in Canada after fleeing from her allegedly abusive family has arrived in Canada . Her flight from Seoul, South Korea, landed in Toronto a day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his government would accept 18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun as

An 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled her family saying she feared for her life has been granted asylum in Canada , Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Qunun will board a connecting flight to Toronto from Seoul’s Incheon airport. She is expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday morning.

Two years ago, after an unsuccessful suicide attempt, her family did not seek help for her, she said. It was then she started planning her escape. Her chance for freedom came last week, when her family took a trip to Kuwait, which does not have the same restrictions on women.

But once she arrived in Bangkok last Saturday, planning to travel on to Australia, she said her passport was confiscated and Thai officials threatened to return her to her family. Her brother and father arrived in Bangkok, demanding that she return with them.

Instead, she barricaded herself in a Thai airport hotel, opened a Twitter account and mounted a social media campaign for her asylum.

“I’m in real danger because the Saudi embassy trying to forcing me to go back to Saudi Arabia, while I’m at the airport waiting for my second flight,” she wrote in one post in English. In another post, she said: “They will kill me because I fled and because I announced my atheism. They wanted me to pray and to wear a veil, and I didn’t want to.”

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).

The father of an 18-year-old Saudi woman asylum seeker who fled to Thailand saying she feared her family would kill her, has arrived in Bangkok and wants to meet his daughter, Thailand’s immigration chief said on Tuesday.

A Saudi woman who fled her family , claiming fear for her life, and used social media to amplify her calls for safe haven was granted asylum by Canada on Friday, an official in Thailand said. The decision to give haven to the 18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun capped a nearly

After Thai officials relented, and the United Nations declared her a refugee, the Canadian government agreed to grant her asylum. This further cemented the country’s status as a bastion of refuge in a world where Western nations have become increasingly hostile to refugees.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday said his government was “pleased” to provide safe haven for Ms. Alqunun “because Canada is a country that understands how important it is to stand up for human rights, to stand up for women’s rights around the world.”

While praise for Canada poured in, human rights groups criticized Australia — which had been Ms. Alqunun’s original destination — for dragging its feet on her file.

At a press conference two days ago in Bangkok, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said her government was going through the procedural steps to assess Ms. Alqunun as a refugee.

“Why did Rahaf go to Canada instead of her preferred choice of Australia where she had friends?” Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth said in a tweet. “Because she needed safety from her Saudi pursuers fast, and Canada expedited her case while Australia (under Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton) slow-walked it.”

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.

BANGKOK, Thailand — The 18-year-old Saudi asylum seeker who fled her family and harnessed the power of Twitter to stave off deportation from Thailand was due to fly to Canada late Friday, in a surprise twist after officials gave heavy hints she was bound for Australia.

The Saudi teenager who says she fled from the nation and her family in fear for her life has been granted asylum in Canada . Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday that Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, an 18-year old who traveled from Kuwait to Thailand before gaining

Locally, there is concern about whether the move will further damage Canada’s already frayed relationship with Saudi Arabia. In August, the kingdom expelled the Canadian ambassador to Riyadh, recalled the Saudi ambassador to Ottawa and froze all new trade and investment deals with Canada after Ms. Freeland’s ministry posted two Twitter messages calling on Saudi Arabia to release imprisoned rights activists, including two who have family in Canada.

“It’s not going to help for sure,” said former Canadian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dennis Horak in a radio interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.“This will be seen as probably just another example of our interference in Saudi’s internal affairs.”

Attempts to reach the Saudi Embassy in Canada failed. The kingdom also retaliated against Canada last summer with a series of other measures that included suspending flights by national airline Saudia to Canadian airports and ordering the transfer of thousands of Saudi students studying in Canada elsewhere.

Over the next months, Ms. Alqunun will be able to access Canada’s generous immigration programs, including free language classes, monthly checks for food, and help finding and furnishing a home. But first, she will have to get used to the Canadian winters.

“I told her it does get warmer,” Ms. Freeland said.

Saudi woman fleeing alleged abuse heads for asylum in Canada.
An 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled alleged abuse by her family is headed for asylum in Canada. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed his country has granted asylum to Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun after she left Bangkok for Toronto.

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