United Nations refers Saudi refugee case to Australia

United Nations refers Saudi refugee case to Australia

United Nations refers Saudi refugee case to Australia

Australia said it would consider resettling her if the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) deemed her a refugee.

In a statement from the government, Ms Alqunun will be subject to Australian checks before she is granted a humanitarian visa, including character and security assessments.

Ms Al-Qunun had planned to enter Australia on a tourist visa and seek asylum before she was detained by Thai authorities on Sunday.

Human rights activists had expressed concerns that Australia's government - which takes a hard line on immigration - may revoke her tourist visa.

Australia will consider giving Ms Qunun a humanitarian visa if the process finds she is a refugee, he said.

"We've been successful in getting them to agree to do that", Mr Hunt told ABC TV on Wednesday.

Gen. Surachate Hakparn said that Alqunun's father and brother arrived together in Bangkok on Tuesday but Alqunun refused to meet them.

Thai Immigration Chief Surachata Hakpan said the two will have to seek permission from the U.N.'s refugee agency before gaining access to Alqunun.

Alqunun's plea for asylum made worldwide headlines when she began sending Twitter messages on January 6 after being detained at Bangkok Airport.

Her ordeal began long before she boarded a flight from Kuwait to Australia with a stopover for a flight change at Bangkok Airport.

A young Saudi woman is asking for Canada's help after tweets about her efforts to flee abuse and seek asylum overseas put her in the global spotlight.

The statement, which described al-Qunun's case as a "family affair", said the kingdom did not demand her deportation to Saudi Arabia.

She said she had asserted her independence, but had been forced to pray and wear a hijab and alleged she had been beaten by her brother. "I'm not going to open the door I want United Nations", one later tweet from her account said.

Until recently, Alqunun had been living with her parents and six siblings in Ha'il, Saudi Arabia, where her father is a government official according to the Daily Mail.

Qunun was stopped in Bangkok as she was trying to reach Australia to seek asylum after escaping from her family during a holiday in Kuwait.

"The father is now here in Thailand and that's a source of concern", Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch's deputy director for Asia, told Reuters. After that he took my passport. People who convert to another religion from Islam risk being charged with apostasy - or abandoning their religious beliefs, which is legally punishable by death. My family do this, I know them. She also gave access to her social media account to her friend Noura, who also fled Saudi Arabia because she renounced Islam.

UNHCR staff were interviewing her on Tuesday after meeting her the day before.

Qunun, a daughter of a senior regional government official, also revealed that Saudi and Kuwaiti officials confiscated her passport upon her arrival.

They later entered her hotel room and took her into United Nations protection.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, a Saudi woman who claims to be fleeing her country and family and is now in Bangkok, Thailand, is shown in this undated photo obtained by Reuters from social media.

He said the Thai government "needs to explain why diplomats from Saudi Arabia are allowed to walk in closed areas of the Bangkok airport, seizing one of their citizen's passports".

Saudi teen Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun walks with Thai immigration authorities at a hotel inside Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, on January 7, 2019.

However, there has so far been no evidence her life is in actual danger.

The ultra-conservative kingdom has some of the world's toughest restrictions on women, including a guardianship system that allows male family members to make decisions on behalf of female relatives.

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