Saudi girl fleeing from family, granted asylum in Canada

Bangkok: An 18-year-old Saudi girl, Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, who fled from her family in Kuwait to Thailand, has been granted asylum in Canada.

According to The Washington Post, Alqunun was admitted to Thailand on Monday where United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees processed her demand for a safe haven. Several nations, including Australia, had welcomed Alqunun as a refugee, but she preferred Canada.

Alqunun was stopped by Thai authorities where she had shut herself in her airport hotel room. She had requested for a meeting with representatives of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, in order to seek asylum as she was fleeing her abusive family.

The Saudi teenager had boarded a plane to Thailand while her family was on a holiday in Kuwait. Upon arriving in Thailand, she claimed that her passport was taken away by a man at the airport on the pretext of getting her a Thai visa. However, the man did not show up, she said.

Furthermore, the 18-year-old alleged that the man who took away her passport came with other men who she believes were Thai security officers and a representative of Kuwait Airlines.

The men reportedly told Alqunun that her family had filed a missing person report about her and informed her that she had to return to Kuwait on a flight late Monday morning. She had also clarified that she did not run away from home in order to escape her marriage.