The 18-year-old Saudi girl who captured worldwide consideration as she resisted deportation from a Bangkok resort room arrived in Canada on Saturday, within the last leg of a protracted journey to safe authorized refuge.
Overseas Minister Chrystia Freeland welcomed Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun in the Toronto Pearson Worldwide Airport, placing her arm across the smiling younger girl, who had donned a Canada zip-up.
“Canada was glad we have been in a position to act shortly and to supply refuge to a refugee on the request of UNHCR,” Freeland instructed reporters, referring to the United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Refugees. “And to supply refuge to an individual whose life was in peril.”
Alqunun’s story unfold throughout social media when she locked herself in a Bangkok resort room and live-tweeted her requires assist, quickly gaining hundreds of followers as she wrote that she was in peril.
Alqunun arrived in Bangkok hoping to hunt asylum in Australia, after fleeing her household whereas on trip in Kuwait. Thai officers seized her passport, she stated, however finally returned it.
In her first tweet, she wrote that the Saudi embassy was making an attempt to pressure her to return house.
“I am afraid, my household WILL kill me,” Alqunun wrote in one other tweet.
She stated she had suffered bodily abuse by the hands of relations and alleged they’d tried to marry her off towards her will, in a rustic the place male kin usually exert extraordinary management virtually each facet of a girl’s life, together with marriage, work, examine and journey. Alqunun’s father, whose title has not been launched, has denied the allegations, the Related Press experiences.
In a video that has been considered over 1,000,000 instances, Alqunun instructed viewers final week that she would not depart her resort room till she was granted entry to the UNHCR.
“I would like asylum,” she stated.
Australia had stated it was contemplating whether or not to supply her asylum, however the UNHCR advised in an e mail to NPR that Ottawa moved extra shortly.
Kenneth Roth, government director of Human Rights Watch, stated Alqunun selected Canada over Australia as a result of Canada had expedited her case.
Freeland prevented answering a query on Sunday in regards to the impact the asylum resolution may need on relations between Saudi Arabia and Canada, that are already strained, they AP experiences. Riyadh expelled Canada’s ambassador final 12 months and recalled its personal prime diplomat in Ottawa after Freeland criticized the jailing of two Saudi girls activists.
“Canada’s welcoming of Rahaf is a becoming rebuke to the Saudi crown prince’s mood tantrum towards Canada for defending the rights of Saudi girls,” tweeted Roth on Sunday. He additionally known as for Canada to redirect its consideration to the jailed activists, now that Alqunun had arrived safely.
The Nationwide Society for Human Rights, a company carefully related to the Saudi authorities, tweeted after Alqunun’s arrival that “some international locations and worldwide organizations” are politically motivated to “incite” feminine youngsters to go away their houses.