Saudi woman won't be deported: Thailand

Jan 08, 2019, 08:29 IST | Agencies

A Thai court had earlier on Monday rejected an attempt to block her deportation after she said she feared for her life after escaping an abusive family

Saudi woman won't be deported: Thailand
Rahaf Mohammed al Qunun

An 18-year-old Saudi woman seeking asylum has left Bangkok airport "under the care" of the UN refugee agency, a Thai official said on Monday, following her desperate plea against deportation.

"She is allowed to stay... she is under the care of the UNHCR now," said immigration chief Surachate Hakparn.

"She left the airport with the UNHCR." A Thai court had earlier on Monday rejected an attempt to block her deportation after she said she feared for her life after escaping an abusive family.

The 18-year-old said she had planned to travel to Australia and seek asylum there, and feared she would be killed if she was repatriated. The incident comes against the backdrop of intense scrutiny of Saudi Arabia over its investigation and handling of the shocking murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year, which has renewed criticism of the kingdom's rights record. Human rights lawyer Nadthasiri Bergman filed an injunction to block her deportation but it was rejected by Bangkok's criminal court.

Qunun had posted a video of her barricading her hotel room door with furniture. If sent back, Qunun said she would likely be imprisoned, and was "sure 100 percent" her family would kill her.

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