Saudi Woman Detained In Thailand

THAILAND

A Saudi woman who fled her family to avoid forced marriage and has been detained in Thailand  sought asylum in Canada amid doubts about the status of her Australian visa.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, who arrived in Bangkok on January 5 on her way to Australia, was on the verge of being deported to Kuwait on but she barricaded herself in a hotel room at the airport until she was granted a temporary stay in Thailand under the protection of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

“I want Canada to give me asylum,” the 18-year-old tweeted, after doubts were raised over the status of her tourist visa for Australia.

The Deputy Asia Director of Human Rights Watch (HRW), Phil Robertson, told Efe that they were waiting for the official confirmation by Australian authorities that al-Qunun’s visa has been cancelled.

Robertson said it is common for countries to cancel visas when they find out that the applicant intends to stay in the country as in the case of al-Qunun.