Rahaf al-Qunun: Dad of Saudi refugee arrives in Bangkok Thailand

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Al-Qunun then barricaded herself inside an airport's hotel room, refusing to come out until she was granted a meeting with United Nations officials.

At 3.30pm on Monday, Thailand's immigration chief Surachate Hakparn held a press conference at the airport for dozens of Thai and worldwide media representatives gathered in the transit area.

"When she first arrived in Thailand, she opened a new site (account) and the followers reached about 45,000 within one day", a Saudi official speaking in Arabic through a translator told Thai officials in the video, referring to the Twitter account.

A Saudi woman's ongoing bid to flee her country via Thailand this week threw the kingdom's male guardianship system into the global limelight, setting in motion a showdown between Saudi Arabia's restrictions on women and the United Nations' asylum process.

Human Rights Watch earlier called on the Australian government to allow Alqunun's entry into that country, amid worries about her visa status.

Ms Al-Qunun had planned to enter Australia on a tourist visa and seek asylum before she was detained by Thai authorities on Sunday.

The teenager has renounced Islam and wrote of being in "real danger" if forced to return to her family under pressure from Saudi authorities and has claimed she could be killed.

"The Australian Embassy in Thailand has made representations to both the Thai Government and the Bangkok office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to seek assurances that Ms Al-Qunun can access the UNHCR's refugee status determination process in Thailand", said a statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Indications from Canberra suggest Alqunun may receive a sympathetic hearing.

The department said it would consider the referral "in the usual way, as it does with all UNHCR referrals".

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Upon arriving to Bangkok, she was met by a Saudi diplomat who seized her passport which meant that she does not meet the Thai visa requirements.

Asylum seekers must usually follow a long process to prove they fled their countries due to situations that put their lives at risk, or that returning to their countries would threaten their freedom or lives. Human rights activists say many more similar cases will have gone unreported.

Thai Immigration Police chief Maj.

Her father and brother arrived in Bangkok on Tuesday evening and have asked to see Alqunun.

Thai immigration chief Surachet Hakparn speaks outside the Saudi embassy after a meeting with Saudi officials in Bangkok on Tuesday. "Please help me." Instead, she was reportedly "dragged onto a plane from Manila to Riyadh with her mouth taped shut and her arms and legs bound". "They kept telling me they will kill me if I do something wrong-they say that since I was a child".

Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt told ABC TV on January 8 the government had successfully requested the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to process her case quickly.

In some cases, Saudi authorities were involved in forcing women to return to their families and in other cases, local authorities suspected the women of seeking asylum and deported them, the activist said.

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

While such operations often rely on cooperative governments, Saudi authorities have also pursued dissidents in more risky scenarios - most notably Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, sparking a tense public reckoning with Turkish authorities.

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