Saudi Girl Runs Away, Begs Thai Officials For Asylum

From The Sun:
A SAUDI Arabian teenage girl is “trapped in Bangkok airport” and claims she can’t go home because her parents will “kill” her for renouncing Islam.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, ran away from her family while they were on a trip to Kuwait two days ago.

She tried to flee to Australia via Bangkok in hope of seeking asylum, but last night she was chased by Saudi officials who seized her passport.

And today, she posted a video at around 1pm GMT today, as she is held in the airport’s Miracle Transit Hotel.

In a flurry of stirring tweets last night, Rahaf said: “My family is strict and locked me in a room for six months just for cutting my hair.

“I’m sure 100 per cent they will kill me as soon as I get out of the Saudi jail,” adding she is “scared and losing hope”.

Her passport was taken after a relative is said to have reported her for travelling without the company of a male guardian.

She added: “I have been threatened by several staff from the Saudi embassy and the Kuwaiti airlines, and they said, ‘If you run, we will find you and kidnap you, then deal with you’.

“I really don’t know how they are going to behave in case I run.”

Thailand officials have said she will be deported to Saudi Arabia tomorrow, where renouncing Islam is punishable by death.

Thailand’s immigration chief Surachate Hakparn said: “Rahaf Mohammed M Alqunun ran away from her family to avoid marriage and she is concerned she may be in trouble returning to Saudi Arabia,” before adding, “It’s a family problem”.

Gen Surachate told the BBC he was unaware of any passport seizure.

Phil Robertson, Deputy Asia Director at Human Rights Watch tweeted: “Extremely worried that Saudi woman Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun will face similar fate & abuse if she is forced back from #Thailand.

“She wants to seek asylum, currently being kept at #Bangkok airport hotel by representatives of #SaudiArabia embassy. #FreeRahaf.”…

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