Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun is granted stay in Thailand after fleeing Saudi

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Alqunun's plan to seek refuge in Australia was nearly stopped Saturday, when she said a Saudi diplomat took her passport when she landed in Bangkok. "This should be the standard for any individual who claims that his or her life is in danger".

Alqunun arrived at Bangkok's main airport on a flight from Kuwait after running away from her family, who she alleges subjected her to physical and psychological abuse. "Since she escaped trouble to seek our help. we will not send anyone to their death", he promised.

In 2016, I was approached via twitter for help in supporting a young Saudi teen who had escaped from her family while they were holidaying in Turkey, and had travelled to neighbouring Georgia.

Thai Immigration chief Surachate Hakparn said on Monday that the embassy had alerted Thai authorities to the case, and said that the woman had run away from her parents and they feared for her safety.

"They will kill me", Qunun told Reuters. Qunun had earlier posted a video on Twitter of her barricading her hotel room door with furniture in a bid to stop her deportation from Thailand.

"Foreign governments, including Australia, that are concerned about human rights should be doubling down and offering support", she said, adding that the response for the federal government and opposition had been disappointing so far.

"My brothers and family and the Saudi embassy will be waiting for me in Kuwait", she warned in her comments to Reuters.

The immigration police released photos of Surachate and his team sitting down with Saudi embassy charge d'affaires Abdulilah al-Shouaibi.

The Saudi teenager said she was certain she would be jailed if she were sent back to Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi government demanded that she be sent back to her family immediately, and for a while it seemed like the Thai government would oblige.

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"It could take several days to process the case and determine next steps", the UNHCR representative in Thailand, Giuseppe de Vicentiis, said.

Fearful: Rohaf Mohammed Alqunun was expected to meet her father in Thailand after she fled her family, saying she would be killed for renouncing Islam.

The UNHCR said that according to the principle of non-refoulement, asylum seekers can not be returned to their country of origin if their life is under threat.

Maj. Gen. Surachate Hakparn says that after the father of Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun arrives, officials will see what happens and whether or not she will want to go back with him.

Noura says Ms Mohammed al-Qunun is a student at a Saudi university, and that she believes her father works for the Saudi government.

"She has a valid Australian visa", he said. "Her family kept her alone in the house for - I think for more than six months - because she cut her hair", she told the BBC.

Abuse by her family was one of the reasons Qunun cited for fleeing.

Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch, told The Associated Press that Thailand should let Alqunun continue her journey to Australia.

The New Daily is reporting that the Australian government is about to confirm it will offer the woman a humanitarian visa if her claim for asylum is approved by the UNHCR. Saudi Arabia has some of the strictest guardianship laws in the world, which rob women and girls entirely of their individual identity and freedoms. She was in the Bangkok airport, about to be deported to her home country, and was pleading for help.

Over the course of the last 48 hours, Alqunun live-tweeted her attempt to not be forced back to Saudi Arabia.

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