Sydney: Topless protest’s message for Saudi refugee
SYDNEY: Four women have held a topless protest in Sydney to support runaway Saudi woman Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, as Australia began considering her bid to settle in the country as a refugee.
Alqunun was yesterday deemed a refugee by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, after being detained in Bangkok en route to Australia. The 18-year-old publicised her case via social media after barricading herself in her Bangkok hotel room, saying she feared for her safety if sent back to her family in Saudi-Arabia.
In downtown Sydney this morning, four women, dressed only in jeans and calling themselves the Secret Sisterhood, protested outside the building housing the Saudi Consulate, calling on Australia to grant Alqunun residency.
With "Secret Sisterhood" written on their backs, the women held placards with messages including "Let her in," ''Rahaf Sisterhood Hero" and "All women free + safe."
Secret Sisterhood founder Jacquie Love said the protest was held to urge the Australian government to recognize Alqunun's plight and that of oppressed women everywhere.
"We are here to encourage them to let her in," Love said. "She's been recognized by the UN as a refugee so we believe the Australian government needs to step up, recognise her plight and recognise what she's gone through, and she could be an icon for the rest of the world that women shouldn't be oppressed and they should be fleeing countries that they are oppressed in."