Canada Offers Asylum To 18-Year-Old Saudi Arabian Girl Who Feared For Life If Returned To Family

She received attention when she had barricaded herself at an airport hotel to escape deportation and then started a social media campaign for asylum. (image via Facebook Page-Save Rahaf Mohammed Mutlaq Alqunun)

Canadian officials have announced that they will be providing refuge to the 18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun and said she has left Thailand and will reach Toronto through Seoul in South Korea, The New Indian Express reports.

The Saudi girl had said that she was abused by her family and feared for her life if she was deported back to her home country. Rahaf escaped from her family and flew to Bangkok when they were visiting Kuwait.

She received attention when she had barricaded herself at an airport hotel to escape deportation and then started a social media campaign for asylum. The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, confirmed that his country would provide her shelter.

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“That is something that we are pleased to do because Canada is a country that understands how important it is to stand up for human rights and to stand up for women's rights around the world and I can confirm that we have accepted the UN request,” he said.

It was reported that various countries including Australia were in talks with United Nations refugee agency to accept Alqunun, Immigration chief Surachate, had said earlier. “She chose Canada. It’s her personal decision,” he said.

Surachate also said that Canada’s ambassador was at the airport and had seen her off. Her added that she looked happy and healthy and thanked everybody for helping her.

Alqunun’s father had reportedly arrived in Bangkok on Tuesday to meet her daughter, who rejected his offer. Surachate said the father denied physically abusing Alqunun or trying to force her into an arranged marriage. “He has 10 children. He said the daughter might feel neglected sometimes,” he added.

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