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‘A very brave new Canadian’: Saudi woman who fled allegedly abusive family arrives in Toronto

A tender Saudi lady who fled her allegedly abusive circle of relatives and drew renewed consideration to the plight of girls within the conservative kingdom has arrived in Toronto after being granted asylum by way of Canada.

Rahaf Al-Qunun, 18, arrived at Pearson Global Airport on Saturday morning on a flight from the South Korean capital Seoul, having left Bangkok on Friday evening native time.

Al-Qunun emerged on the arrivals gate with International Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, who offered her as “an excessively courageous new Canadian.” Freeland mentioned Al-Qunun was once drained from her ordeal and an extended adventure, and received’t be making public remark right now.

“She’s very, more than pleased to be in her new house even if she did remark to me in regards to the chilly,” Freeland mentioned. “I informed her it does get hotter.”

READ MORE: Canada grants asylum to Saudi youngster who fled alleged circle of relatives abuse

Top Minister Justin Trudeau had mentioned Friday that Canada had approved a request from the United Countries Top Commissioner for Refugees to grant Al-Qunun asylum.

“Canada is a rustic that understands how necessary it’s to get up for human rights, to get up for girls’s rights world wide, and I will ascertain that we’ve got approved the UN’s request,” he mentioned.

WATCH: Saudi youngster fleeing circle of relatives granted asylum in Canada






Al-Qunun drew world consideration to her case remaining weekend after she introduced a Twitter marketing campaign from an airport lodge room in Bangkok, the place she mentioned she was once unlawfully detained on the behest of Saudi government whilst seeking to shuttle to Australia.

“I’m in actual risk since the Saudi embassy seeking to forcing [sic] me to return to Saudi Arabia, whilst I’m on the airport looking forward to my 2nd flight,” she mentioned in one in all her first tweets.

On Sunday, Jan. 6, she informed International Information that Saudi embassy officers seized her passport and informed her she can be placed on a airplane to Kuwait, the place her circle of relatives was once looking forward to her.

In a sequence of Twitter messages, Al-Qunun informed International Information that she was once seeking to break out her circle of relatives, who abused her bodily and psychologically, at one level locking her up in a room for 6 months after she reduce her hair.

“I’m certain 100 in line with cent they’ll KILL me,” she mentioned.

Al-Qunun mentioned she feared being killed by way of her circle of relatives after publicly renouncing Islam — “And that itself is sort of a crime in Saudi.”

She added that her circle of relatives informed Saudi government she was once mentally sick in a bid to have her forcibly returned.

READ MORE: Saudi lady, 18, detained at Thai airport, fears she will probably be killed if deported house

Saudi government denied her claims of abuse, with the Saudi ambassador to Thailand telling Saudi media that Al-Qunun have been arrested for violating Thai rules.

Abdul-Ilah al-Shuaibi mentioned Al-Qunun had a number of sisters, and it was once “unimaginable” that best probably the most sisters can be abused to the purpose of fleeing.

Alternatively, on Monday, Thailand granted her transient get admission to to the rustic underneath the security of the UN refugee company, which evaluated her asylum declare and granted her refugee standing.

WATCH: Australia and Canada making an allowance for asylum of Saudi lady






Human Rights Watch informed International Information that Canada performed a central position in persuading the Thai executive to permit Al-Qunun to hunt asylum fairly than deport her to Saudi Arabia.

Phil Robertson, the NGO’s deputy director for the Asia area, mentioned on the time that Canada “must be proud” of its position in protective her rights.

“Ambassador Donica Pottie and her workforce labored hard and long on each Sunday and Monday to lift their considerations with the Thai executive and UN businesses that Rahaf must no longer be despatched again to Saudi Arabia the place she would most probably face severe abuses and persecution,” he mentioned.

“The advocacy they did, running with different like-minded embassies in Bangkok, was once vital in making the case that UNHCR needed to be introduced in to supply Rahaf with coverage. It was once a workforce effort between embassies, human rights and refugee enhance NGOs, media, and on-line activists, and Canada must be pleased with the central position they performed on this victory.”

READ MORE: Human Rights Watch says Canada performed ‘vital’ position in urging Thailand to give protection to Saudi lady

Even though Al-Qunun first of all mentioned she sought after to hunt asylum in Australia, it turned into obtrusive prior to now week that Canada represented her fastest trail to freedom.

Her father and brother ultimately arrived in Bangkok to take a look at and take her again to Saudi Arabia, however their efforts had been in useless as Al-Qunun refused to fulfill them.

“It was once her need to move to Canada,” Thailand’s immigration leader informed journalists on Friday. “She nonetheless refuses to fulfill along with her father and brother, and they’ll be touring again this night… They’re disillusioned.”

Al-Qunun’s arrival in Canada is more likely to exacerbate Canada’s already testy dating with Saudi Arabia, with the 2 nations embroiled in a diplomatic spat remaining yr following Ottawa’s complaint of the detention of girls’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia.

© 2019 International Information, a department of Corus Leisure Inc.

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