Saudi Woman Flying to Asylum in Canada

Rahaf al-Qunun has been granted asylum in Australia, Thai official says

She accused her family of abuse and refused to meet her father and brother who sought to take her back to Saudi Arabia. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that his country had granted her asylum.

A spokesman for Canada's foreign minister said he could not confirm she was coming to Canada.

Pearson said Qunun had made it to safety through her own courage and perseverance. "Even in Canada, she'll need to be conscious of her security, but this is a real victory for women's rights", she said.

She later said Australia was assessing Alqunun's resettlement request.

UNHCR says the teen is en route to Canada, and it is grateful for the government's decision to provide global protection and a "long-term solution for her there as a resettled refugee".

Al-Qunun's case has highlighted the cause of women's rights in Saudi Arabia. Her online campaign was so successful that Saudi charge d'affaires Abdalelah Mohammed A.al-Shuaibi told Thai officials through a translator: "We wish they had confiscated her phone instead of her passport".

She then barricaded herself in an airport hotel room and launched a social media campaign on Twitter, which drew enough support to convince Thai officials to admit her temporarily under the protection of United Nations officials.

She said she suffered physical abuse at the hands of family members and alleged they had tried to marry her off against her will. Alqunun's family so far hasn't commented publicly on the accusations.

The UNHCR eventually granted her refugee status on Wednesday and several countries, including Canada and Australia, had been in talks with the United Nations refugee agency to accept her.

Thai authorities initially threatened to deport her after she arrived in Bangkok from Kuwait last weekend.

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Hours earlier he had advanced to the final by winning his semi-final over Giles Simon 6-3, 6-2. I couldn't think of a better place to get my first win ", de Minaur said.

On Friday, Trudeau avoided answering a question about what the case would mean for relations with the kingdom, but he said Canada will always unequivocally stand up for human rights and women's rights around the world.

Alqunun temporarily disabled her Twitter account due to death threats, according to a friend.

She quashed speculation that Alqunun might accompany her back to Australia, "because there are steps which are required in the process which Australia, and any other country considering such a matter, would have to go through".

"There are a lot of gulf countries that you could. poke in the eye", she said.

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.

The diplomat dispute began when Ms. Freeland tweeted concerns about the news that several social activists had been arrested in Saudi Arabia, including Samar Badawi, a women's rights activist.

Experts agree the media focus on al-Qunun's case has put pressure on officials in Thailand - which usually have little sympathy for asylum seekers - to act quickly.

"Once again we are seeing the abusive influence of Saudi authorities overseas as they seek to forcibly return Saudi women fleeing mistreatment and violence by their families", said Page.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne speaks to the press at the Australian embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, January 10, 2019. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going.

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