Saudi teen who escaped abusive parents won't be immediately deported

Saudi teen who escaped abusive parents won't be immediately deported

Saudi teen who escaped abusive parents won't be immediately deported

"Thai authorities should immediately halt any deportation, and either allow her to continue her travel to Australia or permit her to remain in Thailand to seek protection as a refugee", Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement on Monday.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun has been at Bangkok's global airport since Saturday when she arrived from Kuwait, saying she fears her family will kill her if she is forced to return home.

"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. Diplomat Al-Shuaibi denied that her passport was impounded by the Saudi embassy, and said: "Diplomats haven't met her, the embassy doesn't have the authority to stop her at the airport or anywhere else, and she was stopped by Thai airport authorities for violating the laws and regulations of the country".

Alqunun's plan to seek refuge in Australia was nearly stopped Saturday, when she said a Saudi diplomat took her passport when she landed in Bangkok.

Ms Qunun posted a video on Twitter of her barricading her hotel door with a table and a mattress.

"My family is strict and locked me in a room for six months just for cutting my hair".

Saudi culture and guardianship policy requires women to have permission from a male relative to work, travel, marry, and even get some medical treatment.

"As of now, she does not wish to go back and we will not force her", he said on Monday.

An Australian government spokesman said the case was "deeply concerning" and embassy representatives in Bangkok have reached out to Thai authorities and the UNHCR to "seek assurances" that she will be able to access the "refugee status determination process".

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. Thai authorities then told Alqunun she was being deported back to Saudi Arabia.

It also shows the limits of reforms being pushed by Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman as he struggles to fix damage to his reputation after the grisly killing three months ago of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents in Istanbul.

She was scheduled to be sent back on Kuwait Airways flight 412 leaving at 11:15 a.m. local time but was reportedly not on the flight. They threaten to kill me and prevent me from continuing my education.

Saudi Arabia's embassy in Thailand has denied that its government in Riyadh requested her extradition, reports the Reuters news agency. And she said her family used to beat her, mostly her brother.

Thai immigration chief Surachate Hakparn had said on Sunday that Qunun was denied entry because of her lack of documents.

The 18-year-old fled from Kuwait during a family vacation and arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport Saturday night.

She came from Kuwait on her way to Australia with the intention of applying for asylum and escaping what she described as violence by her family.

"I want U.N.", Alqunun wrote on Twitter Monday.

An airline security official told activists that Lasloom was heard "screaming and begging for help" as men carried her "with duct tape on her mouth, feet and hands" at the airport.

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