Rahaf al-Qunun: Saudi woman in Bangkok should not be deported, says HRW
Human Rights Watch has referred to as on Thai government to forestall the deliberate deportation of a Saudi woman who’s reportedly being held at Bangkok’s primary airport.
Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, who says she is making an attempt to escape her circle of relatives, is about to be deported to Kuwait on Monday.
Ms Mohammed al-Qunun was once in Kuwait on vacation together with her circle of relatives when she fled two days in the past.
She was once seeking to head to Australia by way of a connecting flight in Bangkok.
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Ms Mohammed al-Qunun began attracting consideration together with her social media posts over the weekend.
She says she has an Australian visa however her passport was once seized via a Saudi diplomat when he met her coming off the flight at Suvarnabhumi airport.
Saudi officers say she nonetheless has her passport however is being detained for not having a go back price tag.
Frightened and at a loss for words
Ms Mohammed al-Qunun informed the BBC that she had renounced Islam, and feared she would be forcibly returned to Saudi Arabia and killed via her circle of relatives.
The BBC’s Jonathan Head in Bangkok says Ms Mohammed al-Qunun is worried and at a loss for words.
Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch stated in a commentary: “Saudi women fleeing their families can face severe violence from relatives, deprivation of liberty, and other serious harm if returned against their will.”
The Saudi embassy in Bangkok stated she has been held on the airport “because she didn’t have a return ticket” and that she is about to be deported to Kuwait on Monday “where most of her family lives”.
Saudi government do not have the authority to carry her on the airport or anyplace else, the commentary stated.
Officials at the moment are in contact together with her father, it added.
Thai police Major General Surachate Hakparn informed the BBC that Ms Mohammed al-Qunun was once escaping a wedding.
Because she did not have a visa to go into Thailand, he stated, police had denied her access and had been in the method of repatriating her via the similar airline she had taken – Kuwait Airways – via Monday morning.
Gen Surachate stated he was once ignorant of any passport seizure.
He informed AFP the case was once a “family problem” and “had no further documents such as [a] return ticket or money”.
However, Human Rights Watch Asia deputy director Phil Robertson informed the BBC: “It seems that the Thai government is manufacturing a story that she tried to apply for a visa and it was denied… in fact, she had an onward ticket to go to Australia, she didn’t want to enter Thailand in the first place.”
He argued that the Thai government had obviously co-operated with Saudi Arabia as Saudi officers had been in a position to satisfy the airplane when it arrived.
Ms Mohammed al-Qunun informed BBC Newshour she was once now in a lodge in the transit space.
She stated: “I shared my story and my pictures on social media and my father is so angry because I did this… I can’t study and work in my country, so I want to be free and study and work as I want.”
Ms Mohammed al-Qunun wrote on Twitter that she had made up our minds to percentage her title and main points as a result of she had “nothing to lose” now.
She additionally shared an image of her passport “because I want you to know I’m real and exist”.
Another tweet learn: “I’m afraid my family will kill me.”
The case echoes that of every other Saudi woman who was once in transit to Australia in April 2017.
Dina Ali Lasloom, 24, was once en path from Kuwait by way of the Philippines however was once taken again to Saudi Arabia from Manila airport via her circle of relatives.
She used a Canadian vacationer’s telephone to ship a message, a video of which was once posted to Twitter, pronouncing her circle of relatives would kill her.
Her destiny on arriving again in Saudi Arabia stays unknown.