Canada grants asylum to Saudi runaway teen fleeing allegedly abusive family

Rahaf Mohammed al Qunun chats with Thai Immigration Police Chief Surachet Hakparn and an unidentified UNHCR officer at the Suvarnabhumi international airport

Saudi Arabia has come under fire since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the country's consulate in Istanbul a year ago.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the Saudi asylum seeker, who barricaded herself inside a Bangkok hotel room, is on her way to Canada.

"We have accepted the UN's request that we grant her asylum", he said.

In August, Saudi Arabia expelled Canada's ambassador to the kingdom and withdrew its own ambassador after Canada's Foreign Ministry tweeted support for women's rights activists who had been arrested.

The UNHCR has welcomed Canada's decision to resettle Ms Qunun.

"Refugee protection today is often under threat and can not always be assured, but in this instance worldwide refugee law and overriding values of humanity have prevailed". Her friends said she had suffered abuse at family members' hands.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is flying to Toronto through Seoul, South Korea, said Thai immigration official Surachate Hakparn.

Thai officials initially described her case as a "family problem" and said she would be repatriated back to Kuwait the next day. Human rights activists say many more similar cases will have gone unreported.

Saudi teen Rahaf Alqunun has been granted asylum in Australia, according to a Thai official.

Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, 18, was stopped at a Bangkok airport on Saturday by Thai immigration police who denied her entry and seized her passport.

"We have deleted the tweet about our earlier discussion on Rahaf al-Qunun", the organization said.

Thailand, which is a not a signatory to the UN's code on protecting the rights of refugees, has repeatedly faced fierce criticism for detaining or sending back people with asylum claims to repressive regimes.

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The Australian Department of Home Affairs declined to comment to CNN, which has also reached out to the Canadian government for confirmation. She was admitted to Thailand on Monday while the United Nations processed her request. Surachate described the father as being a governor in Saudi Arabia.

Her case has drawn 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.

'I want life. I want to be independent.

But it also needs to realise the dangers facing the Alaraibi, she added.

"Today Rahaf has been granted refugee status", he told reporters. Dina Ali Lasloom ran away from her family after she was abused.

'Rahaf received death threats and for this reason she closed her Twitter account, please save Rahaf life, ' @nourahfa313 wrote.

Has anything like this happened before?

Ms Alqunun's case is unusual because of the speedy offer of resettlement. The Canadian ambassador to Saudi was sent home, and relations have worsened since.

What we are going through is terrible.

"We are in close contact with partners about her situation". We don't know what freedom tastes like. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

Unfortunately it's not a revolution.

Qunun's case has revived interest in the plight of the footballer, who has been held in detention since his arrival in Thailand. I'm disappointed Australia didn't step up though. I don't have to take my whole family.

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