Saudi Teen Who Fled Her Family Offered Asylum In Canada

Rick Madonik by means of Getty Pictures

TORONTO — An 18-year-old Saudi lady who fled her circle of relatives this week announcing she feared for her existence arrived in Toronto’s world airport on Saturday after being granted asylum in Canada, the place International Minister Chrystia Freeland welcomed her as a courageous new Canadian.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun grabbed world consideration this week after she barricaded herself in a Bangkok airport resort room to withstand being despatched house to her circle of relatives, which denies any abuse. Qunun refused to fulfill her father and brother, who arrived in Bangkok to check out to take her again to Saudi Arabia.

Qunun arrived at Toronto’s Pearson World Airport on Saturday morning, dressed in a hoodie emblazoned with the phrase Canada in pink, and a blue cap with the emblem of the United International locations Prime Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which has granted her refugee standing.

In her final tweet earlier than leaving for Toronto, Qunun mentioned, “I did it,” and posted photos from inside of an aircraft.

“Rahaf sought after Canadians to look that she has arrived at her new house.”

Freeland, who won Qunun on the airport, informed journalists that Qunun is “an overly courageous new Canadian.”

“Rahaf sought after Canadians to look that she has arrived at her new house,” Freeland informed journalists. “However she had an overly lengthy and tiring adventure and so would like to not take questions nowadays. And she or he is now going to visit her new house.”

A smiling Qunun waved to journalists as she walked out into the world arrivals house however didn’t discuss to the media. After a short lived look, she used to be taken again into the airport terminal.

Canada’s determination to grant asylum to Qunun comes at a gentle time. Members of the family between Ottawa and Riyadh were annoying after Canada demanded the fast unlock of jailed rights activists final yr, infuriating Saudi Arabia who retaliated via freezing new business with Ottawa.

Qunun, who had to begin with meant to hunt asylum in Australia, selected Canada as an alternative as a result of Australia took too lengthy assessing whether or not to grant her asylum.

Cole Burston by means of Getty Pictures

″(Australia) takes too lengthy. That’s why I went to Canada,” she informed Reuters in an instantaneous message earlier than boarding her flight to Toronto. Qunun took a Korean Air flight from Bangkok to Seoul on Friday after which a connecting flight to Toronto.

Her case has drawn international consideration to Saudi Arabia’s strict social laws, together with a demand that girls have the permission of a male “mother or father” to trip, which rights teams say can lure girls and women as prisoners of abusive households.

Qunun arrived in Bangkok per week in the past and used to be to begin with denied access. However she quickly began posting messages on Twitter from the transit house of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport announcing she had “escaped Kuwait” and her existence could be at risk if compelled to go back to Saudi Arabia.

Inside hours, a marketing campaign sprang up dubbed #SaveRahaf, unfold on Twitter via a free community of activists.

Following a 48-hour stand-off at Bangkok airport, a few of it barricaded in a transit front room resort room, she used to be allowed to go into the rustic and used to be processed as a refugee via the UNHCR.

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