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Activists call on Australia to accept #RahafMohammedalQunun

Activists call on Australia to accept #RahafMohammedalQunun

"Rahaf faces grave harm if she is forced back to Saudi Arabia so she should be allowed to see UNHCR and apply for asylum, and Thailand should agree to follow whatever the United Nations refugee agency decides", he said.

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young called on her government to issue Alqunun an emergency travel document so she could fly to Australia to seek asylum. We will not do that.

Thailand's immigration police chief, Surachate Hakparn, met on Tuesday with Saudi embassy officials and said they told him they're satisfied with how the case of the young woman has been handled.

She had barricaded herself in a transit hotel room at the Bangkok airport after she said officials told her she would be put on a flight back to Kuwait.

Video footage posted on Twitter by a Saudi human rights activists apparently shows the Saudi official complaining that Thai authorities should have confiscated Qunun's smartphone.

"My family is strict and locked me in a room for six months just for cutting my hair". However, she said that when she approached a visa on arrival counter in the airport - Saudi citizens can apply for a temporary visa provided they have a "confirmed return ticket within 15 days" - but saw a group of Saudi diplomats waiting for her.

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"I am the girl who escaped Kuwait to Thailand".

Australia today vowed to consider an 18-year-old Saudi woman's plea for asylum, further easing fears she could be forcibly returned home. On Twitter, she had expressed fear of such a meeting.

Her Twitter account attracted more than 66,000 followers in less than 48 hours and her story grabbed the attention of foreign governments and the United Nations refugee agency.

"Her passport was not impounded by the Saudi embassy", it said, adding that she was stopped by Thai authorities for "violating the law". She was in danger of being sent back on a Kuwait Airlines flight to Saudi Arabia. The friend also explained that the young woman "received a threat from her cousin-he said he wants to see her blood, he wants to kill her". She won't be sent anywhere.

"The fact is she didn't have any money", he said. "Whether he will try to find out where she is and go harass her". So we have to state the facts here. "We are both concerned for Miss Rahaf's safety and well-being", said Surachate. A family trip to Kuwait apparently allowed her to evade Saudi Arabia's restrictions on travel.

Pearson said Australia has a moral obligation to help Qunun. She also said she had given up Islam. Under Saudi law, a male relative is supposed to serve as a woman's guardian for many everyday social activities.

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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.

She said she was detained after leaving her plane in Bangkok and told she would be sent back to Kuwait.

She has told the BBC that she is fine, and hoping to be granted asylum in a third country. Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun took to Twitter to share her story and urged people to help her survive.

However amid the ongoing concern over the woman's life, New York-based nonprofit Human Rights Watch requested Thailand to "immediately halt the planned deportation" of Rahaf.

The teenager is the daughter of Saudi government official Mohammed Alqunun who has arrived in Bangkok to bring her home.

In a statement, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said al-Qunun "does not have a return reservation or a tourist program, which requires deportation by the Thai authorities".

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