Rahaf al-Qunun has been granted asylum in Australia, Thai official says

In this Monday Jan. 7 2019 image made from video released by Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun  Human Rights Watch Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun views her mobile phone as she sits barricaded in a hotel room at an international airport in Bangkok Thailand. Alqunun says

In this Monday Jan. 7 2019 image made from video released by Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun Human Rights Watch Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun views her mobile phone as she sits barricaded in a hotel room at an international airport in Bangkok Thailand. Alqunun says

Saudi Arabia's guardianship system requires women to have permission from a male relative to work, travel, marry and even get medical treatment in some cases.

"When the United Nations made a request of us that we grant Ms.al-Qunun asylum, we accepted", Trudeau said.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is a genuine refugee - unlike the multitudes of economic migrants that flooded Europe.

The saga of Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun grabbed global attention this week after she barricaded herself in a Bangkok airport hotel room to resist being sent home to her family, which denies any abuse.

Canada will grant asylum to a Saudi woman who fled alleged abuse from her family and has spent almost a week barricaded in a Bangkok hotel room, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Human rights activists say many more similar cases will have gone unreported.

Australia's Foreign Minister Marise Payne gestures as she answers a journalist's question in Bangkok, Thailand, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019.

"The unique thing about this case is that she had access to social media, and was able to report on it and bring the world's attention to her plight", said Pearson.

Al-Qunun, who barricaded herself in a hotel at Bangkok airport to prevent officials from deporting her after fleeing her family in Kuwait, has been granted refugee status by the United Nations refugee office and is hoping to receive asylum in Australia.

Surachate discussed Alqunun's situation on Tuesday with Saudi Charge d'Affaires in Thailand Abdalelah Mohammed A. Alsheaiby.

She said she raised Australia's concerns about the case with Thailand's deputy prime minister and foreign minister.

She meant to fly on to Australia, but barricaded herself in a hotel room in Bangkok's main airport on Sunday after Thai immigration officials attempted to deport her back to the Middle East.

Thai immigration officials told Reuters that Canada had "granted her asylum", however Canadian officials told the BBC they now have "nothing to confirm" on the issue.

Online protest is a tactic long championed by women in Saudi Arabia.

The UN refugee agency coordinated with Canadian authorities to resettle her there, and she will be in the care of the International Organization for Migration once she arrives, he added.

"I spend a lot of time critiquing the refugee process", she said, "but this is one case where it seems to be working".

Police Chief Surachate Hakparn said the 18-year-old woman, Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, would leave late Friday evening.

It noted that Hakeem al-Araibi, a refugee and "torture survivor" from Bahrain granted residence in Australia, has been detained by Thailand since November awaiting a hearing on a Bahraini extradition request.

Despite having harnessed the power of Twitter to stave off deportation on Friday, she abruptly suspended her account, with friends saying she had received death threats.

The teenager had written on her Twitter account, which now appears to have been taken down, that she wished to seek refuge in 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.

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