Dhaka, Thursday   21 March 2019

Saudi woman flying to Canada in asylum bid

 International Desk :: international-desk

 Published: 10:35 PM, 11 January 2019   Updated: 10:35 PM, 11 January 2019

Daily Bangladesh Desk

Daily Bangladesh Desk

A Saudi woman who fled her family and became stranded at Bangkok's main airport is now flying to Canada to seek asylum, Thai officials say.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, refused to board a flight from Bangkok to Kuwait on Monday and barricaded herself into her airport hotel room.

She said she had renounced Islam, which is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia.

The UN's refugee agency has said it considers her to be a legitimate refugee.

Thai immigration officials had initially said she should return to Kuwait, where her family were waiting.

She then started a social media campaign, live-tweeting her case and attracting international attention.

Refugee status is normally granted by governments, but the UNHCR can grant it where states are "unable or unwilling to do so", according to its website.

Thai immigration officials told Reuters that Canada had "granted her asylum", however Canadian officials told the BBC they currently have "nothing to confirm" on the issue.

Daily Bangladesh/Sohug