Saudi teen Rahaf Alqunun’s claim for asylum referred to Australia for consideration



January 09, 2019 17:12:35

The UN refugee agency has referred the case of a Saudi woman claiming asylum to Australia for consideration.

Key points:

  • The UNHCR has found Ms Alqunun is a genuine refugee
  • The Department of Home Affairs says it will consider the referral
  • Ms Alqunun claimed she will be killed if she is returned to Saudi Arabia

Rahaf Alqunun, 18, flew into Thailand from Kuwait, saying she had a ticket onwards to Australia where she had hoped to seek asylum over fears her family would kill her for renouncing Islam.

But when she arrived in Bangkok she said a Saudi diplomat met her at the airport and tricked her into handing over her passport and ticket, saying he would secure a visa.

The teenager then barricaded herself inside her room at an airport hotel, and requested to speak to the United Nations refugee office.

The UNHCR has now assessed her case and found she is a refugee.

In a statement, the Department of Home Affairs says it will consider the referral from the UN in the usual way.

She will be subject to Australian checks before she is granted a humanitarian visa, including character and security assessments.

Ms Alqunun made a plea for protection from a number of countries including Australia, though her connections to the nation are unclear.

More to come.







First posted

January 09, 2019 16:44:23

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