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giftedviz.com January 20, 2019


Justin Trudeau Confirms Canada Has Granted Asylum To Saudi Teen

11 January 2019, 10:50 | Darnell Patrick

READ MORESaudi woman ends Thai airport hotel standoff placed'under the care of UN refugee agency

Rahaf Mohammed al Qunun chats with Thai Immigration Police Chief Surachet Hakparn and an unidentified UNHCR officer at the Suvarnabhumi international airport

The case has highlighted the cause of women's rights in Saudi Arabia.

A United States news report says the young Saudi woman, who fled from her family during a holiday last weekend, has been granted asylum in Australia.

Footage released by Thai immigration shows Abdulilah al-Shouaibi, Saudi embassy charge d'affaires in Bangkok, complaining in a meeting Tuesday with Gen Surachate that Ms Qunun's smartphone should have been confiscated.

When pressed if Australia had cancelled al-Qunun's visa after she was arrested, Payne declined to comment.

The saga of Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun grabbed global attention this week after she barricaded herself in a Bangkok airport hotel room to resist being sent home to her family, which denies any abuse.

If Canada takes Ms Mohammed al-Qunun, it could further upset Saudi-Canada relations.

But according to UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards, the organisation can not confirm at this stage whether it has in deed withdrawn its referral to Australia.

The Australian government said it was considering Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun for refugee resettlement, in a case that has advanced rapidly since the weekend when the 18-year-old barricaded herself in an airport hotel in Thailand and publicized her case on social media.

Thai authorities eventually allowed her to enter the country on Monday evening and the United Nations refugee agency referred Rahaf to Australia for consideration for refugee resettlement. In downtown Sydney on Thursday, four women dressed in jeans and calling themselves the Secret Sisterhood held a topless protest outside the building housing the Saudi Consulate, calling on Australia to grant Alqunun residency.

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As well as the Qunun case she is expected to discuss Hakeem al-Araibi, the Australian permanent resident who has been detained in Thailand for six weeks and fears deportation to Bahrain.

The agency credits the Canadian federal government for arranging her travel, and says her plight gives a glimpse into the precarious situation of millions of refugees worldwide.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, refused to board a flight from Bangkok to Kuwait on Monday and barricaded herself into her airport hotel room.

"Canada has granted her asylum", immigration chief Surachate Hakpark told Reuters news agency.

Sarah Dale - the principal solicitor for the Sydney-based Refugee Advice and Casework Service, which, in the last year, helped 3,300 refugees - said many of her clients have waited months and years while the wheels of justice ground slowly.

Thailand's chief of immigration police, Surachate Hakparn, has said his country will not deport her to possible death.

The teenager had written on her Twitter account, which now appears to have been taken down, that she wished to seek refuge in Australia. She later told reporters that Australia is assessing Alqunun's request for resettlement but there was no specific timeframe.

"She's just been receiving a lot of death threats", McNeill wrote, adding that Alqunun would be back on Twitter after a "short break".

Payne is also expected to discuss the case of a Bahraini footballer with Australian asylum status who has been jailed in Thailand and faces extradition back to Bahrain.



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