"Flag of Australia" by Ian Fieggen / Public Domain

Saudi teen may get asylum in Australia after plea goes viral

Jan 10, 2019

By Jen Kirby

A Saudi teen who made international headlines this week after fleeing to Thailand to seek asylum from her abusive family may now get what she’s desperately been seeking.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has referred Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun’s case to the Australian government. The Australian Department of Home Affairs confirmed this Wednesday, saying in a statement that the government “will consider this referral in the usual way, as it does with all UNHCR referrals.”

A UNHCR representative declined to comment to Vox, but in a statement to reporters earlier Wednesday, UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch said that Alqunun had left the airport in Bangkok, where she had been for about 48 hours, and is now in a “safe location.”

Alqunun’s plight garnered international attention after she and advocates used social media to broadcast her appeals for asylum. Alqunun said she slipped away from her family, who she says was vacationing in Kuwait, and boarded a plane to Thailand, with the hope of reaching Australia. She’s since asked other countries, including the US and Canada, to consider her case.

Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.

Leave a Reply

View our comment policy.