Saudi Woman Coming to Canada
CBJ — Thailand’s immigration police chief says a Saudi woman who fled alleged abuse by her family will leave Bangkok to begin a new life here in Canada after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada would grant asylum to the young woman.
Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, 18, is expected to arrive in Canada early on Saturday morning.
Both Canada and Australia were announced as possible destinations for the 18-year-old woman after she was granted full refugee status by the United Nations.
Alqunun was originally on her way to Australia but was stopped at a Bangkok airport by immigration police who seized her passport. She then barricaded herself in an airport hotel room and launched a social media campaign that drew global attention to her case. Thai officials agreed to admit her temporarily under the protection of UN officials, who granted her refugee status.
Alqunun says she would be killed if forced to return to Saudi Arabia after renouncing her family’s Islamic beliefs.