Tag Archives: Rahaf

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun: Saudi teenager fleeing family arrives in Canada after being granted asylum

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun: Saudi teenager fleeing family arrives in Canada after being granted asylumAn 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled her family this week saying she feared for her life arrived in Toronto on Saturday after Canada granted her asylum. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun grabbed international 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. Qunun refused to meet her father and brother, who arrived in Bangkok to try take her back to Saudi Arabia. Qunun arrived at Toronto's Pearson International Airport on Saturday morning and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to address the media shortly. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun (C) accompanied by Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chryistia Freeland (R), arrives at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Toronto Credit: Reuters Her case has drawn global attention to Saudi Arabia's strict social rules, including a requirement that women have the permission of a male "guardian" to travel, which rights groups say can trap women and girls as prisoners of abusive families. Qunun took a Korean Air flight from Bangkok to Seoul on Friday and then a connecting flight to Toronto. Qunun arrived in Bangkok a week ago and was initially denied entry. But she soon started posting messages on Twitter from the transit area of Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport saying she had "escaped Kuwait" and her life would be in danger if forced to return to Saudi Arabia. Within hours, a campaign sprang up dubbed #SaveRahaf, spread on Twitter by a loose network of activists. Following a 48-hour stand-off at Bangkok airport, some of it barricaded in a transit lounge hotel room, she was allowed to enter the country and has been processed as a refugee by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).



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Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun: Justin Trudeau announces Canada will grant asylum to Saudi teen

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun: Justin Trudeau announces Canada will grant asylum to Saudi teenJustin Trudeau has confirmed that Canada will grant asylum to a Saudi Arabian teenager fleeing alleged family abuse. Thailand’s immigration police chief earlier said that Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun had left Bangkok on a flight to South Korea, with a final destination of Toronto. “That is something that we are pleased to do because Canada is a country that understands how important it is to stand up for human rights and to stand up for woman’s rights around the world,” Mr Trudeau said.



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Canadian prime minister confirms Saudi teen Rahaf al-Qunun to be granted asylum

Canadian prime minister confirms Saudi teen Rahaf al-Qunun to be granted asylumA Saudi woman who fled to Thailand fearing her family would kill her has been granted asylum by Canada, Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, confirmed on Friday. On Friday night Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, was said to be en route to Canada, where she would be granted asylum.    "Canada has been unequivocal that we'll stand up for human rights and women's rights around the world," Mr Trudeau said. "When the United Nations made a request of us that we grant Miss al-Qunun's asylum, we accepted."         Ms al-Qunun boarded a flight from Bangkok to Toronto via Seoul on Friday night, immigration chief Surachate Hakpark said. "Canada has granted her asylum," Mr Surachate told Reuters ahead of her departure. "She'll leave tonight at 11.15 pm” Ms al-Qunun was stopped at a Bangkok airport last Saturday by Thai immigration police who denied her entry and seized her passport. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun speaks in a social media post, from her room in a Bangkok hotel She accused her family of abuse, and refused to meet her father and brother who arrived in Bangkok to try and take her back to Saudi Arabia. While barricading herself in an airport hotel room, she launched a social media campaign via her Twitter account that drew global attention to her case. It garnered enough public and diplomatic support to convince Thai officials to admit her temporarily under the protection of UN officials. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees granted her refugee status on Wednesday. Her case drew global attention to Saudi Arabia's strict social rules, including a requirement that women have the permission of a male "guardian" to travel, which rights groups say can trap women and girls as prisoners of abusive families. Several Saudi women fleeing abuse by their families have been caught trying to seek asylum abroad in recent years, and have been forcibly returned home. Human rights activists say many similar cases have gone unreported.



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