Saudi teen fleeing from family heading to Canada to seek refuge: Thai official
|globalnews.ca 11 Jan 2019 at 07:47|
“Canada has granted her asylum,” the Thai official told Reuters. “She’ll leave tonight at 11.15 p.m.” (That means she will leave around 11:15 p.m. ET time).
The Office of Canadian Foreign Minister also said it could not confirm Qunun has been granted asylum in Canada.
Qunun arrived in Thailand on Saturday and was initially denied entry. She soon started posting messages on Twitter after barricading herself in a room in Bangkok’s airport hotel saying she had “escaped Kuwait” and her life would be in danger if forced to return to Saudi Arabia.
After grabbing worldwide attention with her social media posts, authorities eventually allowed her to enter the country. On Wednesday the United Nations ruled that she is, in fact, a legitimate refugee and recommended that she be resettled in Australia.
However, according to reports, the UN withdrew its referral to Australia to take her as a refugee.
She is now en route to Canada, according to the Thai immigration chief.
Qunun had previously expressed wanting to come to Canada on her Twitter account, which was deleted on Friday after getting death threats, Reuters reported.
The 18-year-old has said she was fleeing from her family out of fear they would kill her for renouncing Islam, something that is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia.
She also said her family abused her physically and psychologically, at one point locking her in her room for six months after she cut her hair and rebelled against wearing the hijab.