Canada grants asylum to Saudi woman in Thailand

12 January, 2019, 14:57 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • Rahaf al Qunun arrives in Canada – no mention in Saudi media | The Thaiger

Earlier, there had been conflicting reports on where she would go. "You are the spark that would motivate me to be a better person".

The case is the latest in a series highlighting what human rights activists say is the widespread subservient treatment of women in Saudi Arabia.

However, Canadian authorities said they could not confirm that Qunun had been granted asylum in Canada.

The UN refugee agency has referred Ms.al-Qunun to Australia for consideration for refugee resettlement.

He said he wants Qunun back but respects her decision.

She was on her way to Australia when she was stopped by Thai authorities.

She thanked everyone for helping her, he said, and added that the first thing she would do upon arrival in Canada would be to start learning the language.

With no queue to speak of, it is more like she will have won the lottery if resettled.

Raif Badawi's wife Ensaf Haidar also praised Canada, calling Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland on Twitter "the real hero" behind efforts to prevent Qunun's repatriation to Saudi Arabia.

Thai authorities eventually allowed her to enter the country on Monday evening and the United Nations refugee agency referred Rahaf to Australia for consideration for refugee resettlement.

UNHCR's office in Canada did not immediately respond to MEE's request for comment on Friday.

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Payne said in her statement that she will raise his case with the Thai government to find ways for his safe return to Australia.

Sarah Dale - the principal solicitor for the Sydney-based Refugee Advice and Casework Service, which, in the last year, helped 3,300 refugees - said many of her clients have waited months and years while the wheels of justice ground slowly. "Not sure when she will resume", tweeted Phil Roberston, Asia director of Human Rights Watch and called on Twitter to shut down those accounts.

The young woman's story made worldwide headlines after she fled alleged abuse from her family to seek asylum, but was stopped at a Bangkok airport by Thai immigration police and denied entry. After she was initially denied entry into Thailand, she barricaded herself in an airport hotel room and posted pictures and texts of herself on Twitter, drawing global attention to her plight. Her efforts picked up enough public and diplomatic support to convince Thai officials to admit her temporarily under the protection of the United Nations.

Her father and brother, he said, who had come on what turned out to be a futile visit to try to persuade her to return to Saudi Arabia with them, would be leaving Thailand shortly after her. "She will be back on twitter but for now she's apparently having a short break", McNeil said.

"He has 10 children. He said the daughter might feel neglected sometimes", Mr Surachate said.

A QUICK RECAP: Rahaf Mohammed al-Qanun has been granted asylum by both Australia and Canada, according to CNN. The Saudis also sold Canadian investments and ordered their citizens studying in Canada to leave.

"Canada has always been unequivocal that we will always stand up for human rights and women's rights around the world", Trudeau said.

Last year Saudi women took to social media wearing their abayas - a loose, all-covering robe worn in public - inside out in 2018 to protest the dress code, which is strictly enforced by police.

Hakparn said Canada had also offered Qunun asylum and they were waiting for her decision.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne met with senior Thai officials in Bangkok on Thursday.

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