Australia looks at resettling Saudi teen who sought asylum in Thailand – National

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Australia stated on Wednesday it might contemplate taking in a 18-year-old Saudi girl who fled to Thailand saying she feared her household, which she accused of abuse, would kill her.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun arrived in Bangkok on Saturday interesting for asylum. Australia stated on Tuesday it might contemplate resettling her if the U.N. Excessive Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) deemed her a refugee.

READ MORE: Canada performed ‘vital’ function in urging Thailand to guard Saudi girl — Human Rights Watch

“The UNHCR has referred Ms Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun to Australia for consideration for refugee resettlement,” Australia’s Division of Homeland Safety stated in an electronic mail on Wednesday.

The division stated it might contemplate the referral “within the common means, because it does with all UNHCR referrals.” It declined to remark additional.

The UNHCR workplace in Thailand additionally declined to remark.

Qunun has refused to fulfill her father and brother who flew to Bangkok this week, Thai immigration chief Surachate Hakparn stated.

“He needed to ensure that his daughter was secure… he instructed me that he needed to take her dwelling,” he stated, including that her father denied Qunun’s allegation that her household was abusing her bodily and emotionally.

WATCH: Thailand won’t ship Saudi teen fleeing household again to Kuwait: officers

Surachate added that Qunun’s father would stay in Thailand, underneath the care of the Saudi Arabian embassy, till it’s clear the place Qunun will obtain asylum.

Australian Overseas Minister Marise Payne is due in Bangkok on Thursday for a go to organized earlier, throughout which she’s going to focus on the case of Bahrain footballer Hakeem AlAraibi, who has refugee standing in Australia however is in jail in Thailand.

Qunun was initially denied entry to Thailand when she arrived on Saturday. She quickly began posting messages on Twitter from the transit space of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport saying she had “escaped Kuwait” and her life could be at risk if pressured to return to Saudi Arabia.

Inside hours, a marketing campaign sprang up on Twitter, unfold by a unfastened community of activists all over the world, prompting the Thai authorities to reverse a call to pressure the younger girl onto a aircraft that might return her to her household.

Qunun’s case has drawn world consideration to Saudi Arabia’s strict social guidelines, together with a requirement that ladies have the permission of a male “guardian” to journey, which rights teams say can entice girls and women as prisoners of abusive households.

It comes at a time when Riyadh is dealing with unusually intense scrutiny from its Western allies over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October and over the humanitarian penalties of its warfare in Yemen.

Thai authorities arrested and charged AlAraibi, a Bahraini footballer who has a refugee standing in Australia, late final 12 months.

Bahrain made a request to have him extradited and he’s in jail, ready for a listening to to determine his case.

WATCH: A UNHCR consultant visited the transit resort at Suvarnabhumi airport on Monday the place Saudi nationwide Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun has barricaded herself inside a resort room with a desk and a mattress.

“AlAraibi was granted everlasting residency by the Australian authorities in recognition of his standing as a refugee,” Payne stated in an announcement, saying that she would search his secure return to Australia.

Rights group Amnesty Worldwide stated Thai authorities ought to “present humanity” to AlAraibi the identical means they needed to Qunun.

“We welcome the management proven by the Thai authorities in Rahaf’s case,” the group’s Center East director of campaigns, Samah Hadid, stated in an announcement.

“No individual must be deported to a rustic the place they’re liable to critical human rights violations … the humanity proven to Rahaf should not be a one-off.”

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