Asylum assessment of Saudi woman in Thailand to take days

Posted January 10, 2019

Al-Qunun arrived at the Bangkok airport after fleeing her family on a trip to Kuwait, which does not require females to get the authorization of a male relative to leave the country. "This should be the standard for any individual who claims that his or her life is in danger".

Saudi Arabia's embassy in Thailand denied reports that Riyadh requested the extradition of Alqanun. "We are in close contact with partners about her situation".

Ms Hanson-Young said Australia should offer "sanctuary" to Ms Qunan so she can live in a country that "respects women and girls".

Thailand's immigration police chief met Tuesday with officials of the Saudi Embassy in Bangkok, and said the officials told him they are satisfied with how Alqunan's case has been handled.

"I had been threatened to be killed before and they aren't afraid to threaten me in public", the teenager tweeted, later pleading for assistance by the United Nations, and to countries including Australia, Canada and the UK to offer her sanctuary.

However, after Qunan's post appeared online, the Human Rights Watch has asked the Thai government to grant sanctuary to the woman, as she may be at a "serious risk" if she is deported.

In addition to facing punishment for "moral" crimes, women can also become the target of "honour killings" at the hands of their families, activists say.

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Thai immigration chief Surachate, however, said that Qunun did not have a visa for Australia.

A Thai court declined to issue an injunction against her being sent back to her parents in Kuwait, from where she began her journey.

Immigration police released photos of Alqunun after she left the hotel room where she had been holed up.

The UNHCR's representative in Thailand, Giuseppe de Vincentiis, told CNN on Tuesday that it was still assessing Rahaf Mohammed Al-Qunun's protection claims and it could take "several days to process the case and determine next steps".

She said she was once locked in a room for six months because she had cut her hair in a way that her family did not approve of.

David Coleman, the Australian immigration minister, is understood to be ready to grant asylum to Ms Alqunun if she is assessed as a genuine refugee by the United Nations and passes character and security checks, ...

Mr Surachate said he would meet Saudi diplomats on Tuesday to clarify Thailand's decision.

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The Saudi teen's case has captured worldwide attention after she barricaded herself in a Bangkok hotel room and took to social media saying that she was escaping her ultra-strict family and the conservative laws of Saudi Arabia.

He was speaking after meeting Abdalelah Mohammed Alsheaiby, charge d'affaires at Saudi Arabia's embassy in Bangkok, while discussing Thailand's stance on al-Qunun's much-publicised case.

Alqunun has also claimed that her family has prevented her from continuing her education - and said she feels "oppressed" because she has not been allowed to drive or travel. Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun took to Twitter to share her story and urged people to help her survive.

Alqunun said she wanted to apply for asylum in a safe country, such as Australia, Canada, the U.S. or the UK.

In response, the Australia director at Human Rights Watch, Elaine Pearson told the Guardian, "if the visa has been cancelled it would be very concerning". Talking to MailOnline, Rahaf described her fear of being murdered if she was returned to her male family members.

Another Saudi woman, Dina Ali Lasloom, was stopped in transit in the Philippines in April 2017 when she attempted to flee her family.

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