Saudi lady fleeing alleged abuse heads for asylum in Canada

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Saudi lady fleeing alleged abuse heads for asylum in Canada

BANGKOK (AP) — An 18-year-musty Saudi lady who talked about she was abused by her family and feared for her existence if deported again home left Thailand on Friday night for Canada, which has granted her asylum, officers talked about.

The mercurial-appealing trends capped an eventful week for Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun. She fled her family while visiting Kuwait and flew to Bangkok, where she barricaded herself in an airport lodge to lead decided of deportation and grabbed global consideration by mounting a social media campaign for asylum.

Her case highlighted the reason for ladies folks’s rights in Saudi Arabia, where several ladies folks fleeing abuse by their families were caught making an try to scrutinize asylum in yet every other country in contemporary years and returned home. Human rights activists teach many identical cases jog unreported.

Alqunun is flying to Toronto by the usage of Seoul, South Korea, in step with Thai immigration Police Chief Surachate Hakparn. Alqunun tweeted two photos from her airplane seat. One with what seems to be to be a glass of wine and her passport and yet every other preserving her passport while on the airplane with the hastag “I did it” and the emojis exhibiting airplane, hearts and wine glass.

Canadian High Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed his country had granted her asylum.

“That is something that we’re gay to make because Canada is a country that understands how indispensable it is to rise up for human rights and to rise up for lady’s rights across the enviornment and I’m able to verify that we’ve current the U.N.’s quiz,” Trudeau talked about.

Several other international locations, in conjunction with Australia, had been in talks with the U.N.’s refugee company to settle for Alqunun, Surachate talked about earlier within the day.

“She chose Canada. It’s her inside most option,” he talked about.

Canada’s ambassador had considered her off at the airport, Surachate talked about, in conjunction with that she regarded blissful and healthy.

She thanked each person for serving to her, he talked about, and added that the first thing she would make upon arrival in Canada will likely be to birth learning the language. She already speaks greater than ample English, to boot to to Arabic.

The characteristic of job of the U.N. Excessive Commissioner for Refugees welcomed Canada’s option.

“The swiftly actions over the final week of the authorities of Thailand in providing momentary refuge and facilitating refugee location determination by UNHCR, and of the authorities of Canada in providing emergency resettlement to Ms. Alqunun and arranging her shuttle were key to the a hit resolution of this case,” the company talked about in an announcement.

It wasn’t straight away decided what brought on Alqunon to take hold of Canada over Australia. Australian media reported that UNHCR had withdrawn its referral for Alqunon to be resettled in Australia because Canberra was taking too lengthy to come to a option on her asylum.

“When referring cases with particular vulnerabilities who need fast resettlement, we set up enormous significance to the velocity at which international locations put in mind and direction of cases,” a UNHCR spokesperson in Bangkok urged The Associated Press in an email acknowledge on situation of anonymity because the person wasn’t licensed to reveal in regards to the case publicly.

Australia’s Education Minister Dan Tehan talked about Saturday that Australia had hurried to direction of her case but Canada made up our minds to prefer her in. He added that, sooner or later, the end result was an ethical one. “She’s going to be safe,” he talked about.

Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Gape, cited Alqunun’s “braveness and perseverance.”

“Here is so noteworthy a victory for each person who cares about respecting and promoting ladies folks’s rights, valuing the independence of formative years to forge their have manner, and annoying governments operate within the light and no longer darkness,” he talked about in an announcement.

Alqunun was stopped Jan. 5 at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport by immigration police who denied her entry and seized her passport.

She barricaded herself in an airport lodge room and took her jam onto social media. It bought enough public and diplomatic make stronger that Thai officers admitted her rapid below the protection of U.N. officers, who granted her refugee location Wednesday.

Alqunun’s father arrived in Bangkok on Tuesday, but his daughter refused to meet with him. Surachate talked about the father — whose name has no longer been released — denied bodily abusing Alqunun or making an try to power her into an organized marriage, which were amongst the reasons she gave for her flight. He talked about Alqunun’s father wished his daughter again but revered her option.

“He has 10 kids. He talked about the daughter may possibly well well well in fact feel brushed off in most cases,” Surachate talked about.

Canada’s draw to grant her asylum may possibly well well well extra upset the country’s relatives with Saudi Arabia.

In August, Saudi Arabia expelled Canada’s ambassador to the dominion and withdrew its have ambassador after Canada’s Distant places Ministry tweeted make stronger for ladies folks’s appropriate activists who had been arrested. The Saudis moreover sold Canadian investments and ordered their voters learning in Canada to recede.

No country, in conjunction with the U.S., spoke out publicly in make stronger of Canada in that spat with the Saudis.

On Friday, Trudeau achieved with out answering a build a question to about what the case would suggest for relatives with the dominion, but he talked about Canada will repeatedly unequivocally rise up for human rights and ladies folks’s rights across the enviornment.

Canadian officers were reluctant to comment extra except she landed safely in Canada.

Alqunun had previously talked about on Twitter that she wished to scrutinize refuge in Australia.

Australian Distant places Minister Marise Payne met Thursday with senior Thai officers in Bangkok. She later talked about Australia was assessing Alqunun’s resettlement quiz.

Payne talked about she moreover raised Australia’s concerns with Thai officers about Hakeem al-Araibi, a 25-year-musty aged member of Bahrain’s national soccer crew who was granted refugee location in Australia in 2017 after fleeing his fatherland, where he talked about he was persecuted and tortured.

He was arrested while vacationing in Thailand in November attributable to an Interpol discover all the blueprint thru which Bahrain sought his custody after he was sentenced in absentia in 2014 to 10 years in jail for allegedly vandalizing a police home — a fee he denies. Bahrain is looking out for his extradition.

Al-Araibi’s case is being regarded as by Thailand’s justice design, she talked about.


Gillies reported from Toronto. Associated Press video journalist Samuel McNeil in Sydney contributed to this portray.

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