Saudi Woman Seeking Asylum Says She Will Die If Deported

Saudi Woman Seeking Asylum Says She Will Die If Deported

Saudi Woman Seeking Asylum Says She Will Die If Deported

An 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled her family at the weekend has left Bangkok airport "under the care" of the United Nations refugee agency, the head of Thailand's immigration police says.

The injunction was filed at Bangkok's Criminal Court to prevent 18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun from being returned to Saudi Arabia. The friend also explained that the young woman "received a threat from her cousin-he said he wants to see her blood, he wants to kill her".

"The Australian Government is pleased that Ms Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun is having her claim for protection assessed (by the U.N.)", a Department of Home Affairs official told AFP.

The Saudi foreign ministry said in a tweet that its embassy was in touch with the woman's father and the Thai government, but its diplomats had not met or communicated with her.

She landed at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok where someone took her passport, assuring her of getting a visa for Thailand.

Qunun had posted a video on Twitter of her barricading her hotel room door with furniture.

On Twitter, where Alqunun has accumulated tens of thousands of followers in about a day-and-a-half, she wrote of being in "real danger" if forced to return to her family under pressure from Saudi authorities, and has claimed in media interviews that she could be killed.

"Her family kept her alone in the house for - I think for more than six months - because she cut her hair", she said.

Under male guardianship laws, women must have the consent of a male relative - usually a father or husband - to travel, obtain a passport or marry.

"She had no further documents such as return ticket or money", he said, adding that Rahaf was now in an airport hotel.

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"We are very grateful that the Thai authorities did not send back Ms al-Qunun against her will and are extending protection to her", he said. "I don't think she'll be truly safe until she reaches a third country".

Another tweet read: 'I'm afraid my family will kill me'.

Alqunun says they took her passport and forced her to come with them.

Mr Robertson said Ms Alqunun was in transit to Australia when she was detained and did not need a visa, which is available on arrival anyway.

Her fate on arriving back in Saudi Arabia remains unknown. In her initial social media pleas, Ms Qunun said her family was powerful in Saudi society but she did not identify them. "No one, no embassy can force her to go anywhere", Surachate said.

Thai immigration chief Surachate Hakparn had said on Sunday that Qunun was denied entry because of her lack of documents. It said she will be deported to Kuwait where her family live. They threaten to kill me and prevent me from continuing my education. She said she had planned to spend a few days in Thailand so she would not spark suspicion when she left Kuwait.

"The flight this morning was via Kuwait Airlines to send her back to Saudi Arabia", chief of immigration police Surachate Hakparn told reporters.

Saudi Arabia's Embassy in Bangkok, added through a statement on its Twitter account, that the girl will be deported back to Kuwait, where her family lives, adding that the embassy is in constant contact with her father.

Saudi Arabia's embassy in Thailand denied reports that Riyadh had requested the extradition of the women.

In 2017, Dina Ali Lasloom triggered a firestorm online when she was stopped en route to Australia, where she planned to seek asylum.

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