Australian minister hints Saudi teen likely to get asylum

18-year-old Saudi woman Rahaf Mohammed al Qanun being escorted by a Thai immigration officer and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees officials at Suvarnabhumi international airport in Bangkok

18-year-old Saudi woman Rahaf Mohammed al Qanun being escorted by a Thai immigration officer and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees officials at Suvarnabhumi international airport in Bangkok

As public pressure heightened, an Australian minister appeared to go beyond Canberra's initial bureaucratic promise to consider her case if and when United Nations experts judge her fear of mistreatment justified.

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

Saudi teenager Rahaf Alqunun's first reaction to the news Australia might resettle her was disbelief, then emojis.

The UNHCR is now evaluating her asylum claim, which is expected to take up to a week.

The Saudi embassy in Bangkok said it "did not demand her deportation" and that the case is "a family affair".

Thai authorities arrested and charged AlAraibi, a Bahraini footballer who has a refugee status in Australia, late previous year. "And I would have preferred it better if her phone was taken instead of her passport".

"The Australian government is pleased that Ms Rahaf Mohammed Al-Qunun is having her claim for protection assessed by the UNHCR", a spokesperson for Australia's Department of Home Affairs told NPR on Tuesday. "This should be the standard for any individual who claims that his or her life is in danger".

Her father and brother arrived in Bangkok on Tuesday, but al-Qunun "refused to see" them, according to Thai immigration police chief Surachate Hakparn, who has been caught up in the worldwide firestorm since al-Qunun's arrival. "We have no idea what he is going to do. whether he will try to find out where she is and go harass her", Robertson said.

Rahaf al-Qunun has said she fears her family will kill her if she was forced to return home.

Ms Alqunun garnered global attention when she took her plight to social media this week, tweeting that she had "nothing to lose".

Asylum seekers gain little sympathy from Thai authorities, who are accused of appeasing repressive countries in a diplomatic charm offensive that targets government relations at the expense of human rights.

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Thailand's immigration police chief Lieutenant General Surachate Hakparn told media on Wednesday Ms Alqunun's father and brother arrived together in Bangkok on Tuesday but Ms Alqunun refused to meet them.

Australian embassy representatives in Bangkok have also coordinated with Thai authorities and the UNHCR to "seek assurances" that she will be able to access the "refugee status determination process".

In Bangkok, Thailand's immigration police chief Maj. The Saudi kingdom, which imposes the world's strictest restrictions on women, has a "guardianship system" which gives men authority in making certain decisions on behalf of their female family members. "She is 18 years old, she has an Australian visa, and she has the right to travel where she wishes and no government should interfere in that".

"He wanted to make sure that his daughter was safe. he told me that he wanted to take her home", he said, adding that her father denied Ms Alqunun's allegation that her family was abusing her physically and emotionally.

A woman in Britain had launched an online petition calling on Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt to grant Qunun asylum and issue her an emergency travel document.

"[Ms] Rahaf is not a political asylum case", he insisted.

As Human Rights Watch reported, Lasloom faced "serious risk of harm if returned to her family".

Women trying to escape abuse by their families have been caught trying to seek asylum overseas in recent years and returned home.

For more than 24 hours she fed global media, rights campaigners and a concerned public a stream of dramatic videos and descriptions of her ordeal.

The latest incident comes against the backdrop of intense scrutiny on Saudi Arabia over the shocking murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi a year ago, which has renewed criticism of the kingdom's rights record.

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