#SaveRahaf: Saudi teen 'under protection' after massive campaign

#SaveRahaf: Saudi teen 'under protection' after massive campaign

The charity has also urged the Thai government to let Qunan approach the UNHCR office in Bangkok to make a refugee claim.

Representatives from the UNHCR today tried to access the airport to interview the 18-year-old, but were blocked by the Thai Government.

A Saudi teen held at Bangkok airport said she would be killed if she was repatriated by Thai immigration officials, who confirmed that the 18-year-old was denied entry to the country yesterday.

On Monday, police chief Mr Surachate said the Thais had been tipped off by Saudi officials, adding: "The Saudi Arabia embassy contacted the immigration police. and said that the girl had run away from her parents and they feared for her safety".

Al-Qunun arrived in Bangkok two days ago.

After announcing that Thailand "will not force her" to leave, Surachate told reporters late Monday that Qunun would be "allowed to stay" after a meeting with officials from the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR.

"The UNHCR and I will. listen to what she wants, whether or not she wants to receive asylum to which country, and we will help coordinate".

"I seek protection in particular from the following country".

"But at least I feel save now under UNHCR protection with the agreement of Thailand authorities".

Ms Mohammed al-Qunun detailed her plight on Twitter, saying: 'Because I got nothing to lose I'm going now to share me real name and my all information'.

What are her grounds for claiming asylum?

.

She said Saudi and Kuwaiti officials had taken her travel document from her when she landed - a claim backed by Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

A woman in Britain had launched an online petition calling on Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt to grant Qunan asylum and issue her an emergency travel document.

On Monday, immigration chief Surachate Hakparn said that Thailand will not send her back immediately.

"We will talk to her and do whatever she requests". She said her family was powerful in Saudi society but she did not identify them. A Saudi diplomat had reportedly seized it when she flew into Thailand from Kuwait on Saturday.

Alqunun says they took her passport and forced her to come with them. "And so if she's sent back to Kuwait, it's basically the same as sending her back to Saudi", he said.

She said she believed she was stopped after her family appealed to Kuwait Airways.

She was finally allowed to enter Thailand late on Monday after spending 48 hours at Bangkok airport, some of it barricaded in a transit lounge hotel room. Thai police, she said, had refused to help her.

"My life is in danger", Ms Mohammed al-Qunun told Reuters news agency.

"I ask the. government of Thailand.to stop my deportation to Kuwait", she said on Twitter. "I know them. They kept telling me they will kill me if I do something wrong - they say that since I was a child".

"They wanted me to pray and to wear a veil, and I didn't want to". "I am oppressed. I love life and work and I am very ambitious but my family is preventing me from living". The Australian Embassy said it had no immediate comment.

She says she will be killed if she is made to return to the kingdom, where women are subjected to anachronistic social restrictions, including under strict "male guardianship" practices.

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