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A happy ending for 18-year-old asylum seeker

Submitted on Sat, 2019-01-12 23:13Following an international campaign to stop her deportation and an intervention by UNHCR, Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun has been granted refugee status and has arrived in Canada earlier today.  Rahaf is welcomed at Toronto's Pearson International Airport by Chrystia Freeland (right), the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ms Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, had fled domestic abuse from Saudi Arabia. She arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport on Sunday (5 January) night, originally en route to Australia, where she intended to seek asylum. She was then stopped in Bangkok, reportedly by Saudi diplomats. Realising that she was going to be forced to board a Kuwait Airlines flight so that she may be returned to her family, Rahaf barricaded herself inside an airport hotel room and tweeted about her situation. The hashtag #SaveRahaf trended globally overnight, sparking an international social media campaign and appeals from human rights groups to stop Thai authorities from deporting her to Saudi Arabia, where she would not only be subjected to further domestic abuse but would also be prosecuted for renouncing Islam – a crime punishable by death under Saudi laws. On Monday (7 January) evening, after the Thai authorities had a change of heart, representatives from UNHCR was finally allowed to see Rahaf. She was taken out of the airport on Monday night and remained in the care of UNHCR while her case is assessed. In a surprising turn of events, Rahaf is now on her way to Canada. Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, confirmed that Canada has granted her asylum. He told BBC that, despite strained relationship with Saudi Arabia, “Canada has been unequivocal that we will always stand up for human rights and women’s rights around the world. When the UN made a request of us that we grant Ms al-Qunun asylum, we accepted.” Rahaf's Twitter... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, A happy ending for 18-year-old asylum seeker, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you A happy ending for 18-year-old asylum seeker

 

 

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Published By: Prachatai - Saturday, 12 January

 

 

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