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Rahaf al-Qunun: UNHCR 'grateful' Saudi woman not deported

Rahaf al-Qunun: UNHCR 'grateful' Saudi woman not deported

She then went online, sending out pleas for assistance over Twitter, and also barricaded her hotel room door.

"She will be deported to the State of Kuwait where her family" lives, it added.

"The Australian Embassy in Thailand has made representations to both the Thai Government and the Bangkok office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to seek assurances that Ms al-Qunun can access the UNHCR's refugee status determination process in Thailand", the statement said.

With the help of human rights advocates, she posted videos and launched a social media campaign to raise awareness to her plight.

Australian national broadcaster ABC reported that the country's Home Affairs Department announced late Tuesday that it would consider Alqunun's application for asylum if she was found to be a genuine refugee, and called on Thai authorities and UNHCR to assess her claim as quickly as possible. "They need to go to the airport".

On Monday night, Qunun tweeted that her father was in Bangkok.

Thailand is not a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention and provides no legal protection to asylum seekers, although there are more than 100,000 refugees in the country. She claims she was kept her in her room for six months for cutting her hair.

Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch, said: "Given Saudi Arabia's long track record of looking the other way in so-called honour violence incidents, her worry that she could be killed if returned cannot be ignored".

"We have no idea what he is going to do ... whether he will try to find out where she is and go harass her. We will not do that", he said.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry denied her allegations that its embassy had confiscated her passport, saying in a Tweet she was stopped at the airport for violating Thai immigration laws.

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Saudi Arabia's parlous rights record has been under heavy scrutiny since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi a year ago.

A Saudi teenager claiming to be fleeing her abusive family has barricaded herself in a hotel room in Bangkok's main airport after Thai immigration officials attempted to deport her back to the Middle East.

Photos released on Monday night by immigration police showed Ms Alqunun with Thai and United Nations officials after she left the airport transit hotel room where she had been holed up over the weekend, sending her pleas for help on her Twitter account. "We are in close contact with partners about her situation". Once there, she got on a plane to Thailand, hoping to travel from there to Australia.

She was on her way to Australia, where she meant to seek asylum after receiving alleged death threats from her family. She fled hardship. Thailand is a land of smiles.

"When I landed at the airport, someone came and said he would process the [Thai] visa but he took my passport".

She said she believed she was stopped after her family appealed to Kuwait Airways.

Ms Qunun said by text and voice message from the hotel on Sunday: "My brothers and family and the Saudi embassy will be waiting for me in Kuwait. I know them. They kept telling me they will kill me if I do something wrong - they say that since I was a child", she said. "They threaten to kill me and prevent me from continuing my education". "They wanted me to pray and to wear a veil, and I didn't want to".

"They won't let me drive or travel". She alleged that she was being subjected to physical and psychological abuse by her family.

Ms. Alqunun described a life of unrelenting abuse at the hands of her family, who live in the city of Hail, in northern Saudi Arabia.

Despite efforts by the Saudi government to curtail the scope of male guardianship laws, women who attempt to flee their families in Saudi Arabia have few good options inside the kingdom.