Saudi girl Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun granted asylum in Australia, claims Thai official

Saudi girl Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun granted asylum in Australia, claims Thai official

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 11 Jan 2019, 04:41 pm

Bangkok, Jan 11 (IBNS): The Australian government has granted asylum to Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, the 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled to Thailand to escape her allegedly abusive family,  media reports said.

"Yes, Australian has granted her asylum, but we are waiting to hear where exactly she is going," immigration police chief Surachate Hakparn confirmed to CNN.

He told the American news channel that Canada has also granted asylum to her.

Hakparn told CNN Qunun, who is staying in an undisclosed location in Bangkok, would be leaving Thailand "almost as soon as the final decision is made."
"We are providing necessary security for her," he said.

The news channel, however, said the Australian Department of Home Affairs declined to comment on the issue.

Since the Saudi girl arrived in Thailand, her supporters posted continuously on the issue to draw global attention towards her case.

The girl received millions of supportive messages from across the globe on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the Twitter account from which she had been posting so far seems to have been deleted on Friday.

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Monday that 18-year-old Saudi national Rahaf Mohammed Al-qunun, who had been stranded at Bangkok airport after fleeing her family in Kuwait, saying that she would be killed if forced to return, was “now in a secure place”.

In a statement, UNHCR said it had been following developments over the past 48 hours closely and immediately sought access from the Thai authorities to meet with her.

  The young Saudi told human rights groups and the media over the weekend that she had been stopped at Bangkok airport in transit from Kuwait, where her passport was taken from her. She claims she was fleeing her family and was planning to head to Australia and seek asylum there.

On Sunday, Mohammed Al-qunun had barricaded herself in a hotel room to prevent the Thai authorities from deporting her back to Kuwait. According to news reports, the Thai authorities agreed to give UNHCR access to her on Monday, in order to assess her claim to asylum.

UNHCR consistently advocates for the principle of non-refoulement, which states that anyone confirmed or claiming to be in need of international protection cannot be returned to a territory where their life or freedom are threatened. This principle is recognized as customary international law and is also enshrined in Thailand’s other treaty obligations, according to UNHCR.

Thailand is not a party to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention or its 1967 Protocol defining the status of refugees.

Saudi girl Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun granted asylum in Australia, claims Thai official

India Blooms News Service
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