Saudi teen at home in Canada
THE 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled alleged abuse by her family is on her way to a new life in Canada after she was granted asylum.
Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun boarded a Korean Air flight from Bangkok to Seoul late on Friday night before catching a connecting flight to Canada, Thailand’s immigration police chief Surachate Hakparn said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed the news.
“That is something that we are pleased to do because Canada is a country that understands how important it is to stand up for human rights and to stand up for woman’s rights around the world and I can confirm that we have accepted the UN’s request,” Mr Trudeau said.
Australia had been one of the countries offering Ms Alqunun asylum. “She chose Canada. It’s her personal decision,” General Surachate said.
There had been conflicting reports on where she would go. One report said Ms Alqunun was happy to “start a new life” in Australia.
Ms Alqunun garnered worldwide attention after she barricaded herself in an airport hotel room in Bangkok and began tweeting that her life was in danger if she were forced to return to Saudi Arabia.