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Home / World / Saudi teen asylum seeker Rahaf al-Qunun en route to Canada

Saudi teen asylum seeker Rahaf al-Qunun en route to Canada



The young Saudi woman who fled her family seeking asylum abroad is scheduled to land in Canada on Saturday after successfully exploiting Twitter's power to ward off deportation from Thailand.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, was already on his way to Toronto late Friday, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would host.

Trudeau's surprise announcement came after officials had strongly hinted that it was headed for Australia.

The Canadian prime minister offers asylum to Rahaf Mohammed Qunun.

"Canada has been unequivocal that we will defend human rights and women all over the world," said Trudeau. "When the UN asked us to grant al-Qunun asylum, we accepted."

The move will undoubtedly further disrupt Canada's relations with the reign that struck last August on the criticism of Ottawa's rights to Saudi Arabia, prompting Riyadh to expel the Canadian ambassador and sever all Protestant commercial and investment ties

Canada also unleashed anger in Riyadh calling for "immediate release" of prison rights activists, including Samar Badawi, the sister of the imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi, whose family he lives in Quebec.

Qunun's attempt to escape from the ultra-conservative reign was welcomed by the rights groups as a beacon of challenge against repression.

The Thai authorities initially threatened to expel her after arriving in Bangkok from Kuwait last weekend

  Rahaf Mohammed al-Qununbeing is accompanied by the head of Thai immigration police on board a flight departing from 39, Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qununbeing is accompanied by the Thai immigration police chief on board a flight departing from Suvarnabhumi Airport.

AAP

But armed with a smartphone and hastily opening the Twitter account, he forced a reversal from the Thai immigration police who entrusted him with the care of the company. UN refugee agency while the #SaveRahaf hashtag has rebounded around the world. [19659016] "Precarious situation"

"Ms Al-Qunun's scourge has attracted the attention of the world in recent days, taking a look at the precarious situation of millions of refugees around the world," he said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

"The protection of refugees today is often threatened and can not always be assured, but in this case the international refugee law and the dominant values ​​of humanity have prevailed."

Raif Badawi's wife, too, Ensaf Haidar, praised Canada, calling Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland on Twitter "the real hero" behind efforts to prevent Qunun from repatriating to Saudi Arabia

Qunun claimed to have been mistreated by his family – which he denies accusations – and rights groups have also declared that they have renounced Islam, risking judicial actions in Saudi Arabia.

Qunun said he was aiming for Australia where officials had suggested that they would seriously consider his asylum application, which was approved as legitimate by the UNHCR on Wednesday

but late Friday Thailand's immigration police chief, Surachate Hakparn, said that a cheerful and smiling Rahaf was headed to Toronto and had left for a flight after 11pm (1600 GMT).

"He chose Canada … Canada said he will accept it," Surachate told reporters at Bangkok's main airport

"Now he's safe and has good physical health and

Qunun left from the same airport where her asylum search began less than a week ago in a rapid process that defied most of the rules.

Threats of Death

Friday afternoon Qunun published a cryptic tweet on his profile that says "I have some good news and some bad news" – shortly after, his account was deactivated in response to the death threats he had faced, his friends said.

But she was again online during the day, tweeting: "I would like to thank people for supporting me and saving my life. Actually I have never dreamed of this love and support. "

Qunun's rapid use of Twitter has seen him amassing more than tens of thousands of followers in a week, highlighting his situation at a time when human rights data from Saudi Arabia are subjected to strict control

His deployment of social media allowed her to avoid the fate of countless other refugees who are quietly sent home or languishing in Bangkok's detention centers.

She refused to see her father, who traveled to Thailand and expressed opposition to his resettlement.

Surachate said that his father and brother should have returned home on a flight early in the morning.

Although his cause of Asylum has moved quickly the final maneuvers that led to its flight to Canada remains largely a mystery.

Australia had dropped strong hints that it would have accepted after that. UN invited the country to do so and it is still unclear why the resettlement

Thursday his foreign minister said that Canberra was still considering the request.

Thailand's immigration chief Surachate had previously told reporters on Friday that "two or three" countries were ready to offer their asylum.

The Southeast The Asian country is not a signatory of a refugee convention and asylum seekers should be referred to a third country.


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