'Frightened' Saudi teen faces dire situation if deported: Human Rights Watch

A Saudi woman was stopped by Saudi and Kuwaiti officials when she landed in Bangkok's airport and her travel document was forcibly taken from her

'Frightened' Saudi teen faces dire situation if deported: Human Rights Watch

"They said "you have three minutes to pack, and you will be flown back to Kuwait tomorrow at 11.15am, then returned to Saudi Arabia"," the friend said.

The incident comes as Saudi Arabia faces intensifying scrutiny over its investigation and handling of the notorious murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul previous year, which has sparked renewed criticism of its human rights record. From Kuwait they [my family] will take me to Saudi Arabia.

Rahaf had requested her passport back so she could fly to another country.

A Saudi woman used social media to draw attention to her plight trying to flee her family, claiming that authorities in Thailand confiscated her passport and were holding her Sunday at an airport hotel room in Bangkok. In an English-language tweet, she wrote, "I'm the girl who run away from Kuwait to Thailand".

Mr Robertson said she should have been allowed passage through to her final destination, Australia, without being questioned in Thailand, where she never meant to stay.

A Saudi activist familiar with other cases of females who've runaway said often the women are young, inexperienced and unprepared for the obstacles and risks involved in seeking asylum when they attempt to flee.

"She has the right as an 18-year-old to travel".

However, immigration head Surachate said Rahaf would be sent back to Saudi Arabia by Monday morning.

However, Human Rights Watch Asia deputy director Phil Robertson told the BBC: "It seems that the Thai government is manufacturing a story that she tried to apply for a visa and it was denied.in fact, she had an onward ticket to go to Australia, she didn't want to enter Thailand in the first place".

"She has barricaded herself in the room & says she will not leave" until she is allowed to meet the United Nations refugee agency and claim asylum, Human Rights Watch's deputy Asia director Phil Robertson said on Twitter.

She said that she was fleeing abuse from her family, including beatings and death threats from her male relatives, who also forced her to remain in her room for six months for cutting her hair.

Saudi national Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun started posting on Twitter late Saturday after Thai officials stopped her in transit from Kuwait.

She also tweeted a video in which she says that Saudi embassy officials stopped her after arriving in Bangkok, and she later posted a copy of her passport. According to The Daily Mail, her father had told an airport employee official via messaging app Whatsapp that she was mentally ill but did not provide evidence when asked.

Meanwhile, Thai Police Major General Surachate Hakparn told the BBC Rahaf was denied entry and is being deported via the same airlines she had taken to arrive into the country, Kuwait Airlines, because she did not have a visa to enter Thailand. I can't even ask for protection or asylum in Thailand.

Rehaf wanted to travel to Australia where she wanted to seek asylum, fearining that her abusive family will kill her if she returns. Thai police refuse to help me'.

Al-Qunun was trying to escape an arranged marriage and was held in Thailand for not presenting "any necessary documents", Surachet Hakpal, chief of the Thailand's Immigration Bureau told CNN.

Abdulilah al-Shouaibi, charge d'affaires at the Saudi embassy in Bangkok, acknowledged the woman's father had contacted the diplomatic mission for "help" to bring her back.

Qunun said she was in transit to seek asylum in Australia, where she claimed to have a visa.

Saudi Arabia has come under fierce criticism following the murder of dissident journalist Khashoggi inside the kingdom's Istanbul consulate on October 2 - a case that stunned the world.

Another Saudi woman, Dina Ali Lasloom, was stopped in transit in the Philippines in April 2017 when she attempted to flee her family.

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