The Saudi teenager who fled her country due to abuse from family to seek asylum abroad has successfully arrived in Canada.

The Saudi Teenager who fled due to abuse from her family got stranded at the Bangkok airport has successfully arrived in Canada after being granted asylum.

Foreign minister Chrystia Freeland described Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun as a “very brave new Canadian” when he welcomed her at Toronto airport.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, had been trying to reach Australia via Bangkok but was initially told to return to Kuwait, where her family were waiting.


The 18-year-old used Twitter to help prevent her deportation from Thailand when she was stopped en route to Australia last weekend.

The teenager was fleeing Saudi Arabia and said she feared her relatives would kill her if she was returned to the kingdom.

She refused to fly back and barricaded herself into her airport hotel room, attracting international attention.

She said she had renounced Islam, which is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a surprise announcement on Friday that the North American country would take her in.

Speaking to the media
Mr Trudeau said “Canada has been unequivocal that we’ll stand up for human rights and women’s rights around the world.

“When the United Nations made a request of us that we grant Alqunun’s asylum, we accepted.”he added.

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She arrived in Pearson International Airport on a Korean Air flight from Seoul on Saturday.

she told AFP news agency she had suffered physical and psychological abuse from her family, including being locked in her room for six months for cutting her hair.

Thai officials initially described her case as a “family problem” and said she would be repatriated back to Kuwait the next day.

However, Ms Qunun sent a series of tweets pleading for help from her airport hotel room, and her case was picked up by Human Rights Watch and journalists.

Ms Qunun told the BBC earlier that she was afraid her family would kill her.

“I can’t study and work in my country, so I want to be free and study and work as I want,” she said.
The UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) said it considered her to be a legitimate refugee and welcomed Canada’s decision to grant her asylum.

“International refugee law and overriding values of humanity have prevailed,” said the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi.

She had sent couple of tweets through her Twitter handle.

Canada’s move is sure to further strain its relations with the Arab kingdom.
The North American country has previously angered Saudi Arabia after calling for the “immediate release” of jailed rights campaigners, in the country – prompting Riyadh to expel Canada’s ambassador and freeze all new trade.

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