Saudi denies asking for extradition of woman in Thailand

Hugh Fox
January 9, 2019

The UNHCR, which is providing protection to Alqunan, said it was "very grateful" Thai officials did not send Alqunun back against her will.

Saudi Arabia has denied it asked Thailand to extradite Qunun, the embassy said on Twitter.

"They will kill me", she said. The country's immigration office confirmed that it is not sending her back to Saudi Arabia just yet.

Furthermore, the 18-year-old alleged that the man who took away her passport came with other men who she believes were Thai security officers and a representative of Kuwait Airlines.

18-year-old Saudi woman Rahaf Mohammed al-Qanun (C) is escorted to a vehicle by the Thai immigration officer and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) officials at the Suvarnabhumi worldwide airport in Bangkok on January 7, 2019.

Surachate also acknowledged for the first time Saudi embassy had alerted Thai authorities to Qunun's arrival.

The 18-year-old says she had a visa to continue to Australia, but media reports say the Australian government has now cancelled it.

"Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun fears for her life and is facing deportation to Saudi Arabia, but we can help".

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They need permission from a male relative to obtain a passport and travel overseas.

Rahaf was vacationing in Kuwait with her family when she planned her escape with the help of a friend, allegedly to escape mental and physical abuse they put her through, MailOnline reported.

"The Australian government is pleased that Ms Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is having her claim for protection assessed by the UNHCR", a spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs said.

Qunun was stopped by immigration because Saudi Arabian officials contacted them to say she had fled her family, he added. She fled hardship. Thailand is a land of smiles. "Saudi Arabia is lying through their teeth on this one".

Thailand's immigration police chief says the young Saudi woman seeking passage to asylum in Australia will be temporarily admitted to Thailand for evaluation by the United Nations refugee agency.

Human Rights Watch Asia deputy director Phil Robertson said: "What country allows diplomats to wander around the closed section of the airport and seize the passports of the passengers?"

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. "I think this will be fair to both sides", he said. I will be forcibly repatriated tomorrow to Kuwait and then Saudi.

"I'm the girl who run away from Kuwait to Thailand". Thai police refuse to help me'.

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The Australian government will "carefully consider" any asylum application made by the Saudi teen detained at Bangkok airport whose case has gained media attention around the world.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Qunan said that her family is extremely angry and would kill her.

Thailand initially said she was being deported because she did not meet the requirements for a Thai visa, however Ms Mohammed al-Qunun insisted she had a visa for Australia and that she never wanted to stay in Thailand.

"My name is Rahaf Mohammed Mutlaq Alqunun and this is my picture", she tweeted.

"I want U.N.", Alqunun wrote on Twitter Monday. "My family threatens to kill me for the most trivial things". "Human Rights Watch is monitoring the situation closely", he said.

In a similar case in 2017, Dina Ali Lasloom was stopped in the Philippines as she attempted to flee to Australia and was returned to Saudi Arabia, after which she was never heard from publicly. She said she was held after leaving her plane in Bangkok and told she would be sent back to Kuwait.

She used a Canadian tourist's phone to send a message, a video of which was posted to Twitter, saying her family would kill her. Her whereabouts remain unknown.

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