Canadian FM Chrystia Freeland says the United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Refugees discovered Saudi lady fleeing alleged household abuse was in a harmful state of affairs and that Canada was glad to have the ability to act rapidly and supply her refuge. (Jan. 12)

A Saudi teenager fleeing alleged household abuse arrived in Canada Saturday as an asylum refugee after a harrowing journey wherein she was virtually forcibly deported again house whereas altering planes in Thailand.

At one level, 18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun had barricaded herself in an airport resort in Bangkok to keep away from being taken by Thai authorities.

She stirred worldwide sympathy by tweeting about her plight through the week-long ordeal, prompting the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to declare that she was fleeing alleged household abuse and was in a harmful state of affairs.

The teenage mentioned she feared her household would kill her as a result of she renounced Islam.

Beneath Saudi’s strict system of male guardianship, girls should get permission from their father, husband, brother or perhaps a son with a purpose to journey or marry.

Thailand’s immigration police chief Surachate Hakparn told CNN that Alqunun had continued to refuse to satisfy together with her father and brother who had flown to Thailand to take her again.

Alqunun’s Twitter account, which had been her lifeline to the surface world, was briefly deactivated Friday however sprang again to life Saturday, sporting photos of what gave the impression to be an airplane seat, passport and boarding move.

“third nation,” she wrote, referring to resettlement in Canada. “I did it.” 

The declaration by the UNHCR prompted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to supply her asylum in Canada.

“Canada has been unequivocal,” Trudeau mentioned. “We are going to at all times get up for human rights and ladies’s rights all over the world.”

Alqunun smiled broadly as she exited an arrival door at Toronto’s airport Saturday sporting a Canada hoodie.

With Alqunun by her aspect, Canadian Overseas Minister Chrystia Freeland declared: “This a really courageous new Canadian.”

Freeland mentioned Algunun had made an extended journey and most well-liked to get settled earlier than speaking to the media. She joked that the teenager did remark concerning the chilly climate however was assured it will get hotter.

UN Excessive Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, who had put Alqunun’s on a fast-track, emergency foundation, mentioned her plight had underscored the precarious state of affairs confronted by thousands and thousands of refugees worldwide.

“Refugee safety in the present day is commonly beneath menace and can’t at all times be assured, however on this occasion worldwide refugee legislation and overriding values of humanity have prevailed,” he mentioned.

As a result of Saudi girls can not go away the nation with out a guardian’s permission, some have been compelled to flee whereas on a household trip abroad.

A number of have slipped away in Turkey, a well-liked Saudi vacationer vacation spot, then fled to neighboring Georgia, which doesn’t require Saudis to have a visa, the New York Times reports.

Many who’ve fled up to now or search to sooner or later trade info with different Saudi girls in personal on-line discussion groups, the Occasions notes.

Canada’s determination to supply asylum to Alqunun will seemingly add to the strains with Saudi Arabia that erupted final summer time after Canadian officers accused Saudi Arabia of human rights violations and demanded the discharge of imprisoned activists.

The Saudi authorities responded by freezing all Saudi air flights to Toronto, suspending bilateral commerce offers and cancelling scholarships for hundreds of Saudi college students in Canada.

Contributing: Related Press

Learn or Share this story: