Rahaf al-Qunun: Saudi teen refugee arrives in Canada


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Media captionThe #SaveRahaf marketing campaign went viral after Rahaf began tweeting about her plight for asylum

A Saudi teenager who fled her household and obtained stranded at a Bangkok airport has arrived in Canada after being granted asylum there.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, had been attempting to achieve Australia by way of Bangkok however was initially instructed to return to Kuwait, the place her household had been ready.

She refused to fly again and barricaded herself into her airport lodge room, attracting worldwide consideration.

She stated she had renounced Islam, which is punishable by loss of life in Saudi Arabia.

Canada’s International Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland launched as “a really courageous new Canadian” however stated that Ms al-Qunun was drained from her ordeal and lengthy journey and wouldn’t be making any public assertion on Saturday.

“She is a really courageous younger lady who has been by so much… and he or she is now going to go to her new house,” the minister added.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier instructed reporters that his nation had granted a request from the United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Refugees to grant asylum.

“Canada has been unequivocal that we’ll at all times arise for human rights and girls’s rights all over the world,” he stated.

How did she attain Canada?

She arrived in Pearson Worldwide Airport on a Korean Air flight from Seoul on Saturday.

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Ms Al-Qunun (proper) smiled when she emerged from arrivals

She had tweeted photographs that appeared to point out her aboard the jet simply earlier than take-off, with the phrases, “I did it!”

Why did she flee?

Ms Qunun instructed the BBC earlier that she was afraid her household would kill her.

“I am unable to research and work in my nation, so I need to be free and research and work as I would like,” she stated.

Individually, she instructed AFP information company she had suffered bodily and psychological abuse from her household, together with being locked in her room for six months for chopping her hair.

A spokesperson for her household instructed the BBC that they didn’t want to remark and all they cared about was the younger lady’s security.

The UN’s refugee company (UNHCR) stated it thought of her to be a professional refugee and welcomed Canada’s resolution to grant her asylum.

“Worldwide refugee regulation and overriding values of humanity have prevailed,” stated the UN Excessive Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi.

Canada has beforehand angered Saudi Arabia after calling for the discharge of detained ladies’s rights activists within the nation – prompting Riyadh to expel Canada’s ambassador and freeze all new commerce.

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How did she find yourself in Bangkok?

She had been on a visit to Kuwait along with her household when she fled on a flight to the Thai capital, saying she meant to take a connecting flight to Australia and had an Australian visa.

However she says her passport was seized by a Saudi diplomat when he met her coming off the flight in Bangkok, leaving her stranded.

A Saudi envoy in Bangkok denied any official Saudi involvement in Ms Qunun’s detention, and her passport was later returned.

Thai officers initially described her case as a “household downside” and stated she could be repatriated again to Kuwait the subsequent day.

Nonetheless, Ms Qunun despatched a collection of tweets pleading for assist from her airport lodge room, and her case was picked up by Human Rights Watch and journalists.

Thailand allowed her to remain and the UN assessed her declare for asylum.


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