Saudi woman detained in Thailand seeks asylum in Canada 

 

Saudi woman detained in Thailand seeks asylum in Canada 

She sought asylum in Canada amid doubts about the status of her Australian visa.

By IANS

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Published: Tue 8 Jan 2019, 1:00 PM

Last updated: Tue 8 Jan 2019, 3:11 PM

The Saudi woman who was detained in Thailand sought asylum in Canada amid doubts about the status of her Australian visa.
Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, who arrived in Bangkok on January 5 on her way to Australia, was on the verge of being deported to Kuwait on Monday but she barricaded herself in a hotel room at the airport until she was granted a temporary stay in Thailand under the protection of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, reports Efe news.
"I want Canada to give me asylum," the 18-year-old tweeted after doubts were raised over the status of her tourist visa for Australia.

The Deputy Asia Director of Human Rights Watch (HRW), Phil Robertson, told Efe that they were waiting for the official confirmation by Australian authorities that al-Qunun's visa has been cancelled.
Robertson said it is common for countries to cancel visas when they find out that the applicant intends to stay in the country, as in the case of al-Qunun.
Al-Qunun had intended to seek asylum in Australia once she reached there. She began writing messages and posting videos on her recently opened Twitter account, which went viral and she had 83,700 followers by Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Arabian embassy in Thailand denied in a statement that it had seized her passport or tried to detain her at the airport.
Thai authorities also maintain that al-Qunun tried to enter Thailand while on her way to Australia and was denied a visa due to which she was being deported to Kuwait, the country where she arrived from.
Al-Qunun and HRW have both denied this.


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