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Saudi woman ends airport hotel standoff

8 January 2019 10:45 am - 18     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


An 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled her family at the weekend has left Bangkok airport "under the care" of the UN refugee agency, the head of Thailand's immigration police says.

Thai immigration officials had tried to return Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, to Kuwait, where her family is.

But she refused to board a flight on Monday and barricaded herself into her airport hotel room.

She said she feared her family would kill her as she had renounced Islam.

"My brothers and family and the Saudi embassy will be waiting for me in Kuwait," Ms Mohammed al-Qunun told Reuters.

"My life is in danger. My family threatens to kill me for the most trivial things."

Her relatives have not commented on her claims.

Rights groups including Human Rights Watch have expressed grave concerns for Ms Mohammed al-Qunun, who had travelled to Thailand for a connecting flight to Australia, where she hoped to seek asylum.

The Thai authorities said her status would be assessed by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).

The Australian government said it would closely monitor the case, calling Ms Mohammed al-Qunun's allegations "deeply concerning".

On Monday evening local time, Thailand's chief of immigration police Surachate Hakparn confirmed that Ms Mohammed al-Qunun was "allowed to stay", and that she "left the airport with the UNHCR".

He earlier said the country would "take care of her as best we can", adding: "She is now under the sovereignty of Thailand; no-one and no embassy can force her to go anywhere.

"Thailand is a land of smiles. We will not send anyone to die."

Mr Surachate said he would meet Saudi diplomats on Tuesday to clarify Thailand's decision.

Ms Mohammed al-Qunun tweeted that her father had arrived, "which worried and scared me a lot", but said she felt safe "under UNHCR protection with the agreement of Thailand authorities".(BBC)

  Comments - 18

  • elakiri Tuesday, 08 January 2019 11:04 AM

    I feel sorry for her family who have been painted as abusers by western media because of her stunt..

    bert Tuesday, 08 January 2019 07:32 PM

    Are you hallucinating. What western media you are talking about?

    Siyabala Tuesday, 08 January 2019 11:06 AM

    How could the religion of peace can kill someone who renounced it ? First they kill others and then start killing their owns.

    johan Tuesday, 08 January 2019 01:44 PM

    Religion of Peace is only Logo

    Samir Tuesday, 08 January 2019 07:36 PM

    Same as religion of buddha torch houses and shops with men in side

    Roger Wednesday, 09 January 2019 09:54 AM

    Wonder what religion prevails in Israel, America, Burma etc where mass murders are happening.. don't be blind!

    Sonali Wednesday, 09 January 2019 10:15 AM

    Here's the religion of "peace"

    JK Hatton Tuesday, 08 January 2019 02:32 PM

    The first choice in their law is KILLING- then the solution comes - what a brainy philosophy.

    AZ Wednesday, 09 January 2019 09:55 AM

    Clearly shows your ignorance!

    Sara Tuesday, 08 January 2019 04:21 PM

    See the difference of Buddhism by the response given by the Thai chief.. So great of Thailand.

    Mohan Tuesday, 08 January 2019 07:40 PM

    Just curious, do you endorse BBS as Buddhist?

    SpaceCab Tuesday, 08 January 2019 04:50 PM

    So the little girl wants PR in the West. How many Sinhalese claimed they were ex LTTE to get PR. How many sri lankans claimed they are gays to get PR? don't blame religion for people's tricks

    denial Tuesday, 08 January 2019 07:07 PM

    But the fact remains that the punishment for leaving the faith is death according to "slam"

    Jaliya Tuesday, 08 January 2019 07:19 PM

    Tricks ? Who is playing tricks here. Certainly not the poor victim. Ceasing her passport for not having a return ticket ... is that not a trick played by the Saudi embassy ?

    Ravi Tuesday, 08 January 2019 09:37 PM

    Is this important for us? There are lot of problems in our country that following this

    Ashan Wednesday, 09 January 2019 08:25 AM

    Can we for a minute stop this being a religion bashing? I am not a Muslim and do agree 'honour killings' are horrific but how does this bashing solve anything? Btw Sri Lanka sends back hundreds of Pakistan Christians and Shia Muslim to their death, persecution and horror. So let's not have any stone throwing

    Logan Wednesday, 09 January 2019 09:07 AM

    It's a good way to get the aussie PR All drama

    kumar Wednesday, 09 January 2019 01:36 PM

    @Logan: Don't judge every one on your standard. Saudis are more richer than Aussies. This child has all the rights to survive from honor killing.

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