Saudi girl in Thailand put under United Nations protection, for now

Rahaf told AFP she was stopped by Saudi and Kuwaiti officials when she arrived in Suvarnabhumi airport

"This should be the standard for any individual who claims that his or her life is in danger". Thai authorities then told Alqunun she was being deported back to Saudi Arabia.

"We acknowledged this and checked her paperwork". "We will not send someone back to die", said the Thai immigration chief, Major General Surachate Hakparn, according to the New York Times.

Gen. Surachate Hakparn, said at a news conference at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport, where Alqunun is staying, that he would meet with United Nations refugee officials to discuss allowing them to see her later Monday. "I know them. They kept telling me they will kill me if I do something wrong - they say that since I was a child".

Rafah had expressed how Saudi embassy officials in Thailand threatened her against trying to flee.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Busadee Santipitaks said the ministry had no advance notice of plans to turn back al-Qunun.

Human rights lawyer Nadthasiri Bergman said she filed an injunction earlier yesterday to prevent Ms Rahaf's deportation.

The woman had dropped off during a visit to Kuwait of her family and was flown to Thailand.

Surachate Hakparn, the chief of immigration police, told reporters: "The flight this morning was via Kuwait Airlines to send her back to Saudi Arabia". They reportedly gave her assurances that she would not be sent back to Saudi Arabia.

Thai immigration police released photos of Alqunun after she left the room at a Bangkok airport hotel where she had been holed up.

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UNHCR has been following developments closely and immediately sought access from the Thai authorities to meet with Ms. Mohammed Al-qunun, 18, to assess her need for global protection.

Many asylum seekers are refused entry and quietly deported, while those who make it into Thailand can wait years to be resettled to third countries or find themselves in prolonged detention.

The Saudi teen's case has captured worldwide attention after she barricaded herself in a Bangkok hotel room and took to social media saying that she was escaping her ultra-strict family and the conservative laws of Saudi Arabia.

"The government has made representations to the Thai government and the Bangkok office of the UNHCR about its serious concerns on this matter and the need for Ms al-Qunun's claim to be assessed expeditiously". A family trip to Kuwait apparently allowed her to evade Saudi Arabia's restrictions on travel.

"It's extremely concerning if it is the case that the visa has been canceled", she told The Associated Press, adding that Australia should allow Alqunun entry in any case.

Rahaf Mohammed Mutlaq Alqunun, 18, flew from Kuwait on a ticket she had to Australia.

Human Rights Watch's Phil Robertson, in contact with Qunun since she started live-tweeting her ordeal, said her father and brother were "the two male relatives (Qunun) most fears" and could "physically harm her in an effort to compel her to return". If the UNHCR declared her a refugee, Alqunun said she would like to be granted a humanitarian visa in Australia, Britain or Canada. Saudi females who flee their families are nearly always running away from abusive male relatives, often a father or brother. She had tried to escape before but had failed and her family were now extra vigilant, monitoring her every move, removing all her electronic devices so she could not communicate with the outside the world.

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

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