Saudi woman ends airport hotel standoff: Rahaf al-Qunun

An 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled her family at the weekend has left Bangkok airport “under the care” of the UN refugee agency, the head of Thailand’s immigration police says

Thai immigration officers had tried to come back Rahaf Mohammad al-Qunun, 18, to Kuwait, wherever her family is.

But she refused to board a flight on Mon and obstructed herself into her landing field chamber.

She aforementioned she feared her family would kill her as she had renounced Islam.

My brothers and family and also the Saudi embassy are going to be looking ahead to Pine Tree State in Kuwait,” Ms Mohammad al-Qunun told Reuters.

My life is at risk. My family threatens to kill Pine Tree State for the foremost trivial things.”

Her relatives haven’t commented on her claims.

Rights teams as well as Human Rights Watch have expressed grave issues for Ms Mohammad al-Qunun, World Health Organization had cosmopolitan to Asian nation for a flight to Australia, wherever she hoped to hunt asylum.

The Thai authorities aforementioned her standing would be assessed by the United Nations expatriate agency (UNHCR).

On Mon evening time, Thailand’s chief of immigration police Surachate Hakparn confirmed that Ms Mohammad al-Qunun was “allowed to stay”, which she “left the landing field with the UNHCR”.

He earlier aforementioned the country would “take care of her as best we have a tendency to can”, adding: “She is currently underneath the sovereignty of Thailand; no-one and no embassy will force her to travel anyplace.

Thailand may be a land of smiles. we’ll not send anyone to die.”
Mr Surachate aforementioned he would meet Saudi diplomats on Tuesday to clarify Thailand’s call.

Ms Mohammad al-Qunun tweeted that her father had arrived, “which upset and afraid Pine Tree State a lot”, however aforementioned she felt safe “under UNHCR protection with the agreement of Asian nation authorities”.
Thailand isn’t a someone to the United Nations expatriate Convention and provides no legal protection to asylum seekers though there are quite a hundred,000 refugees within the country.

An injunction filed by Thai lawyers in Krung Thep court to prevent the deportation was pink-slipped earlier on Mon.

How did the stand-off start?
Ms Mohammad al-Qunun says that once she arrived in Krung Thep on Saturday, her passport was condemned by a Saudi diplomat World Health Organization met her returning off the flight.

Thailand at the start aforementioned she was being deported as a result of she didn’t meet the wants for a Thai visa.

However Ms Mohammad al-Qunun insisted she had a visa for Australia, which she ne’er needed to remain in Asian nation.

Saudi Arabia aforementioned the Thai authorities had stopped the adult female for “violating the law”.

On Monday, policeman man Surachate aforementioned the Thais had been tipped off by Saudi officers, adding: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia embassy contacted the immigration police… and aforementioned that the woman had run faraway from her oldsters and that they feared for her safety.
Phil Oscar Robertson, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch, told the BBC: “It looks that the Thai government is producing a story that she tried to use for a visa and it absolutely was denied… in fact, she had associate onward price ticket to travel to Australia, she did not need to enter Asian nation within the initial place.”

How was the planet alerted?
Ms Mohammad al-Qunun histrion attention to her plight through social media posts over the weekend. She additionally gave a lover, Noura, access to her Twitter account, speech it absolutely was just in case something ought to happen to her.

I shared my story and my photos on thuscial media and my father is so angry as a result of I did this… i am unable to study and add my country, thus i need to be free and study and work as i need,” she said.
Women in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are subject to male guardianship laws, that mean they have a male relative’s permission to figure, travel, marry, open a checking account, or maybe leave jail.

Why are there fears for her welfare?
Ms Mohammad al-Qunun told the BBC that she had renounced Islam, and feared her family would kill her if she was sent back to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Freedom of faith isn’t lawfully protected within the kingdom, and other people World Health Organization convert to a different faith from Islam risk being charged with apostasy – or abandoning their non secular beliefs.

The crime is lawfully punishable by death – though courts haven’t administrated a death sentence in recent years.

The BBC World Service spoke to Noura, the friend World Health Organization is tweeting from Ms Mohammad al-Qunun’s account. She aforementioned the try knew one another from an internet cluster for Saudi feminists, which she herself had “escaped” Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a result of she is “an ex-Muslim”.

Noura says Ms Mohammad al-Qunun may be a student at a Saudi university, which she believes her father works for the Saudi government.

Her family unbroken her alone within the house for – i believe for quite six months – as a result of she cut her hair,” she told the BBC.

Noura aforementioned she was chatting with Ms Mohammad al-Qunun “every twenty minutes”, adding: “She is frightened.”

Ms Mohammad al-Qunun’s case echoes that of another Saudi girl World Health Organization was in transit to Australia in Gregorian calendar month 2017.

Dina Ali Lasloom, 24, was on the way from Kuwait via the Philippines however was taken back to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from Manila landing field by her family.

She used a Canadian tourist’s phone to send a message, a video of that was announce to Twitter, speech her family would kill her.

Her fate on inward back in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia remains unknown.


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