Rahaf al-Qunun was finally granted asylum in Australia after she fled her family and was fearing deportation from Thailand
The Saudi 18-year-old woman that fled her family while on vacation in Kuwait has been granted asylum in Australia, as per Thailand officials’ declaration on Friday. Reportedly Canada has also offered her asylum and now they are waiting for Rahaf al-Qunun to make a decision.
“Yes, Australian has granted her asylum, but we are waiting to hear where exactly she is going,” said Thai immigration police chief Surachate Hakparn. He also stated that she is staying in an undisclosed location in Bangkok, and would be leaving Thailand “almost as soon as the final decision is made,” as well as the fact that they “are providing necessary security for her.”
After UN’s UNHCR refugee agency offered her refugee status on Wednesday, they have referred her protection request to Australia, though it had not been confirmed before now that Canada was also considering taking her in as a refugee.
On Wednesday, after the UN granted Ms. Al-Qunun refugee status, Australia’s Department of Home Affairs had stated they were considering her UNHCR referral as well as being willing to grant Qunun a humanitarian protection visa if she applied for one. That would allow her to stay permanently in Australia and have the right to work and study, and be able to propose or sponsor family members for permanent residence in Australia.
Also, in the same day, Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Stefano Maron declared that Canada is very concerned by this case and is closely watching it: “We are in close contact with partners about her situation.” “Canada will always stand up for human rights, very much including women’s rights,” he stated.