Justin Trudeau ‘Pleased’ To Offer Asylum To Saudi Teen

Asylum Saudi Teen

Saudi Arabian teen girl, Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, is seeking asylum in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Friday. “Canada has been unequivocal that we’ll stand up for human rights and women’s rights around the world,” Trudeau said. “When the United Nations made a request of us that we grant Miss (Rahaf Mohammed) al-Qunun’s asylum, we accepted.”

The Case so far

Rahaf had fled her home country alleging abuse from her family, she left Bangkok on Friday and will fly to Canada, Thailand’s immigration police chief said. The 18-year-old was also considered by several countries including, Canada and Australia earlier and were in talks with the UN refugee agency on accepting Asylum.

Also Read: Saudi Arabia Celebrates Its First Women’s Day

Trudeau said that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had asked Canada to take in Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun after she locked herself in a Bangkok airport hotel room. She doesn’t want to be sent home to her family. Her family, however, has denied any allegations of abuse.

“Canada is a country that understands how important it is to stand up for human rights, to stand up for women’s rights around the world, and I can confirm that we have accepted the UN’s request,” The Canadian Prime Minister told reporters.

A Korean Air flight took off with Rahaf which left Bangkok at 11:37pm (local time), a Thai airport official said.

Sharing her happiness, Rahaf has tweeted:

Resistance and Success 

Rahaf refused to meet her father and brother who arrived in Bangkok to persuade her to go back to Saudi Arabia. This is one of many such cases in the Kingdom, where women’s rights have been denied.

Thailand’s immigration chief Surachate Hakparn told reporters it was Ms Alqunun’s wish to go to Canada. “She still refuses to meet with her father and brother, and they are going to be travelling back tonight as well… they are disappointed,” he said. The campaign dubbed #SaveRahaf is the hot topic on Twitter, spread across by a group of activists.

Feature Image Credit: ABC

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