The Saudi teen whose pleas for asylum went viral just after she fled from her relatives and escaped to Thailand previously this 7 days has been granted asylum in Canada.
“We have accepted the UN’s request that we grant her asylum,” Trudeau told reporters. “That is a thing that we are pleased to do simply because Canada is a nation that understands how essential it is to stand up for human rights, to stand up for women’s rights all-around the globe.”
Alqunun designed global headlines this 7 days immediately after she escaped from her family, who had been vacationing in Kuwait, and boarded a flight to Bangkok, Thailand, on January 5. Alqunun was intercepted at the airport in Thailand, where by authorities confiscated her passport and planned to deport her again to her family members.
Alqunun resisted, indicating that she feared for her daily life, and appealed for asylum. She has claimed that she faced abuse at house, and feared punishment for the reason that she had denounced Islam. (Her family has denied allegations of abuse, according to Thai officers.)
The teenager barricaded herself in her airport resort home and refused to depart till she could discuss with UN officers, who could identify her asylum position. Right after a nearly 48-hour standoff that Alqunun and her supporters broadcast by way of social media, the Thai authorities dropped their attempts to deport Alqunun, and the teenager was authorized to fulfill with UN associates.
Earlier this week, the Australian govt verified that the United Nations Superior Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) experienced referred Alqunun’s asylum request to the country.
Now Alqunun has been granted at haven in Canada right after the week-prolonged drama, however the teen herself has not commented. Alqunun’s Twitter account — wherever she printed films and pleas for protection — has given that gone dark. ABC News reporter Sophie McNeill, who had been in get in touch with with Alqunun, said that she was fantastic but apparently suspended her account following acquiring demise threats.
So @rahaf84427714 is secure and great. She’s just been acquiring a large amount of dying threats. She will be back on twitter but for now she’s seemingly obtaining a short split
— Sophie McNeill (@Sophiemcneill) January eleven, 2019
Alqunun’s plight captured intercontinental awareness, specially due to the fact Saudi Arabia not too long ago confronted condemnation for the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi — an occasion that put the country’s human legal rights report below scrutiny.
But Alqunun becoming granted asylum in Canada adds one more twist to her story. Canada has been vocal about challenging human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, so a lot so that the two international locations experienced a significant diplomatic spat in excess of the summer after the Canadian governing administration criticized and demanded the release of civil culture and women’s legal rights activists detained in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia responded by kicking out the Canadian ambassador, recalling the Saudi ambassador to Canada and all Saudi pupils learning in the place, and suspending flights as effectively as “all new companies transactions and investments joined with Canada.”
Alqunun’s circumstance, as substantial-profile as it is, could conclusion up producing Saudi-Canadian relations even a lot more fraught. Trudeau, when requested whether or not the country’s determination to grant Alqunun asylum would enhance tensions, explained to reporters that “Canada has been unequivocal that we will constantly stand up for human legal rights and women’s rights about the earth.”