No Solution Quite Yet for Terrified Saudi Refugee in Thailand

Rahaf Mohammed al Qunun arrives at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Toronto Canada

The Tweet read, '18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun fled Saudi Arabia as she said her family would kill her for choosing to leave Islam - do you respect her decision?'

"Labor has been supportive of the government's moves to consider humanitarian settlement in Australia given she has been found to be owed protection", Wong said.

"We are providing necessary security for her", he said.

After publicising her case via social media, saying she feared for her safety if made to return home to her family, she was placed in the care of UNHCR workers as her bid for refugee status was considered.

Under the kingdom's strict guardianship laws, adult women must obtain permission from a male guardian to travel overseas, marry or be released from prison.

Ms Qunun had told the Daily Mail Australia on Friday she was happy to "start a new life" in Australia and that she had been provided with an apartment for three months although she didn't know where it would be.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne is also expected to discuss the case of a Bahraini footballer with Australian asylum status who has been jailed in Thailand.

Her case came to attention this week when she barricaded herself in a Bangkok airport hotel room to resist being sent home to Saudi Arabia.

UNHCR says the teen is en route to Canada, and it is grateful for the government's decision to provide global protection and a "long-term solution for her there as a resettled refugee".

However, the office of Canada's foreign minister said it could not confirm the 18-year-old had been granted asylum.

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Ms Payne later told reporters that Australia was assessing Ms al-Qunun's request for resettlement, but there was no specific timeframe.

"She chose Canada. Canada said it will accept her", Thai immigration chief Surachate Hakparn told reporters at Bangkok's main airport.

Following a tense 48-hour stand-off at Bangkok airport, some of it barricaded in a transit lounge hotel room, she was allowed to enter the country and has been processed as a refugee by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

Thailand's immigration police chief, Surachate Hakparn, told reporters the United Nations was accelerating the case, though he gave no indication of when the process would be complete.

Ms Alqunun later tweeted the video of that meeting and wrote that her "Twitter account has changed the game against what he wished for me".

Mr Hakparn said Canada had also offered Ms Alqunun asylum and they were waiting for her decision. Dina Ali Lasloom ran away from her family after she was abused.

Last year Saudi women took to social media wearing their abayas - a loose, all-covering robe worn in public - inside out in 2018 to protest the dress code, which is strictly enforced by police.

She documented her arrival and subsequent detention in Bangkok on her smartphone, creating new Twitter and Periscope accounts where she received a deluge of supportive messages.

In recent weeks Canada has issued sanctions against 17 Saudis linked to the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey and is reviewing its deal to supply light armoured vehicles to the kingdom.

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