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Father, brother of Saudi teen flying to Thailand


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Father, brother of Saudi teen flying to Thailand

By The Nation

 

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A handout photo shows Saudi Arabia woman who seeking for asylum Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun (C) chats with Thai Immigration Police Chief Surachet Hakparn (R) and UNHCR officer (L) at the Suvarnabhumi international airport on January 7.//EPA-EFE

 

The father and brother of a Saudi teenager, whose flight and plea for asylum has made international headlines, will travel to Thailand later today to give their accounts to the UN refugee agency, the Thai Immigration police chief said on Tuesday.

 

In case they wished to speak to Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, the 18-year-old Saudi girl who ran away from her family during their trip to Kuwait, it would be up to the girl, Pol LtGeneral Surachet Hakparn said.

 

Surachet will act as a mediator in their talks with the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) representatives, Surachet said.

 

“I believe the father and brother of al-Qunun want to give information to the UNHCR for it to have both sides of the story. I think this will be fair to both sides,” he said.

 

He was speaking after meeting Abdalelah Mohammed Alsheaiby, charge d’affaires at Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Bangkok, while discussing Thailand’s stance on al-Qunun’s much-publicised case.

 

Al-Qunun was detained on arrival at Suvarnabhumi Airport during transit while en route to Australia. She alleged that she was being subjected to physical and psychological abuse by her family. 

 

She planned to seek asylum in Australia and expressed fears that she would be killed if she were sent back to Saudi Arabia by Thai Immigration officials who had detained her at the airport.

 

Surachet said earlier that she was stopped at the request of her family who alerted the Saudi Embassy in Bangkok.

 

At her request, the Thai side decided to hand her over on Monday night to the care of the UNHCR. The agency said in a statement that it required five days to process the girl’s request.

 

Surachet said that during his meeting with the Riyadh diplomat, both sides agreed that it was a family matter and both the family and the girl should meet to settle the conflict.

 

The said both countries had the same aim, the safety of the girl, with the diplomat saying that he was satisfied with Thailand’s decisions on the matter.

 

“It was her wish to be under the care of the UNHCR, not that of the Thai government,” Surachet told the diplomat.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30361844

 
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Saudi teen asylum seeker spotlights 'strangling' male guardianship

By Heba Kanso

 

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Saudi teen Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is greeted by Thai immigration authorities at a hotel inside Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand January 7, 2019. Thailand Immigration Police via REUTERS

 

BEIRUT (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - World headlines about an 18-year-old Saudi Arabian woman seeking asylum in Thailand have thrown the spotlight on the conservative kingdom's guardianship system where male relatives take charge of key decisions in a woman's life.

 

The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) said it was investigating Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun's case after she fled to Thailand on Saturday from Kuwait saying she feared her family would kill her if she were sent back to Saudi Arabia.

 

Qunun told the world of her plight on social media, drawing widespread concern. She told Reuters she was fleeing her family's "physical, emotional and verbal abuse," adding she was restricted from travel and continuing her education.

 

Her father is now in Bangkok and asking to speak with Qunun, Thai authorities said.

 

The case has drawn fresh global attention to Saudi's guardianship system, whereby women must have permission from a male relative to work, marry, and travel.

 

Rights groups say the system can trap women and girls as prisoners of abusive families.

 

"She, and other Saudi women have the right to live in dignity without constraint of guardianship. They are controlled in each and every step, and this is strangling," said Suad Abu-Dayyeh from global rights group, Equality Now.

 

"I am not surprised if we see more girls doing what Rahaf has done. Taking the lead after Rahaf and not wanting to live in this male guardianship system," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.

 

Qunun told Reuters via text and audio messages that she had fled Kuwait during a family visit there, and had planned to travel to Australia to seek asylum.

 

She said she was held after leaving her plane in Bangkok and told she would be sent back to Kuwait.

Thai authorities reversed a decision to expel her and allowed Qunun to enter the country under the care of the UNHCR.

 

Qunun is staying in a Bangkok hotel while the UNHCR processes her application for refugee status, before she can seek asylum in a third country.

 

Adam Coogle, Middle East researcher at Human Rights Watch, said the desire for women like Qunun to escape these "awful situations" is understandable, but also dangerous.

 

"It is certainly possible more women could do this after Rahaf. But it is dangerous and it doesn’t always work," he said by phone.

 

"I would hope that they can find a safe place to go to where they don't face the possibility of being sent back."

 

In 2017, a Saudi woman who sought asylum in Australia, and said she feared violence from any relatives who came to bring her back home, was stopped on a layover in the Philippines and returned to Riyadh.

 

Qunun's case comes at a time when Riyadh is facing unusually intense scrutiny from its Western allies over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October and over humanitarian consequences of its war in Yemen.

 

Zainah Anwar, executive director of Musawah, a global project, which seeks to restore equality and justice for men and women in Muslim family law, said the guardianship system treats women as if they were "children" in Muslim Saudi Arabia.

 

"Until the male guardianship system is done away with, in law and in practice, women's rights in the kingdom cannot be realised," she said in a statement.

 

(Reporting by Heba Kanso @hebakanso; Editing by Jason Fields. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org)

 
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Saudi envoy insists teenager’s case is family affairs, does not affect Thai-Saudi ties

 

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The Saudi envoy in Bangkok gave an assurance today that the case of a Saudi teenager seeking asylum in a third country from Thailand is a family affairs and will not have any impact on the relations between Saudi Arabia and Thailand.

 

Pol Lt-Gen Surachate Hakparn, commissioner of Immigration Bureau, who is handling the case was reportedly given the assurance by the Saudi charge d’affaires during a meeting at the Saudi Embassy.

 

Pol Lt-Gen Surachate met with the Saudi envoy to explain the Thai government’s decision not to send the teenaged girl, Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, back to Kuwait where she came from as demanded by her family.

 

Full story: https://www.thaipbsworld.com/saudi-envoy-insists-teenagers-case-is-family-affairs-does-not-affect-thai-saudi-ties/

 
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-- © Copyright Thai PBS 2019-01-09
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Considering her sheltered upbringing, this young lady is very brave. Provided she is granted asylum by some developed country I feel she has potential to be the next Aayan Ali Hirsi or Shazia Hobbs. Great to see this 18 year old turn the world's focus back on Saudi and ideologies that have no place in modern times. This is how change happens folks.

 The father and brother will fit in well with their countrymen in the lower Sukhumvit bars and massage establishment and forget why they came here.

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This young woman might have just opened the proverbial Pandora box of maltreatment of girls and women under muslim/sharia laws whereby forced marriages severe punishments and even death are everyday life for those unfortunate enough to be part of this religion, we all know how it started, where will it end will be interesting to see...

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They will be nice. Get her back on board and back to see her family that love her. She may even get flowers when she returns home.
 

Then after a week or two they will kill her.

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This young woman might have just opened the proverbial Pandora box of maltreatment of girls and women under muslim/sharia laws whereby forced marriages severe punishments and even death are everyday life for those unfortunate enough to be part of this religion, we all know how it started, where will it end will be interesting to see...


Looks like one of your self fulfilling prophecies...if you equalise extreme Wahabi domination with traditional Islam...


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If they do have a face-to-face meeting, I would recommend that the father and especially her brother are given a full body search, to check for any concealed weapons.  It wouldn't surprise me at all if they intended to commit an 'honour killing' right there in front of the UNHCR.

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8 minutes ago, Thorgal said:

Looks like one of your self fulfilling prophecies...if you equalise extreme Wahabi domination with traditional Islam...

it doesn't get more traditional than in the prophet's country.

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Why the hell are they bringing her family to see her. She is an adult and had a vaild visa and documentation for Australia. She was just transiting through the Thailand airport where Thailand has obvoiusly been approached by the Saudis and detained her without her doing anything wrong.

 

Who is she anyway? I cannot imagine a simple regular Fazad would attract this much attention fron the Saudi authorities.

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10 minutes ago, smutcakes said:

Why the hell are they bringing her family to see her. She is an adult and had a vaild visa and documentation for Australia. She was just transiting through the Thailand airport where Thailand has obvoiusly been approached by the Saudis and detained her without her doing anything wrong.

 

Who is she anyway? I cannot imagine a simple regular Fazad would attract this much attention fron the Saudi authorities.

Believe her father is a public figure of some kind.

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38 minutes ago, animalmagic said:

Very valid observation. Thank you

risk  of  flight  also + male dominated  society

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Who cares about the family’s side? She doesn’t want to have anything to with them or their country full of Islam, oppressive laws, ISIS + “honor killers.” Let her be free to go.

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52 minutes ago, smutcakes said:

Why the hell are they bringing her family to see her. She is an adult and had a vaild visa and documentation for Australia. She was just transiting through the Thailand airport where Thailand has obvoiusly been approached by the Saudis and detained her without her doing anything wrong.

 

Who is she anyway? I cannot imagine a simple regular Fazad would attract this much attention fron the Saudi authorities.

They call in the family because this is the Thai officials way. If they are only to loose from whatever the outcome will be they let other parties make the decisions to be off the hook when things go South. Rather then form and voice their opinion and take a stand they retreat because the risk of loss of face is just too much.

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Great news! A bunch of men on both sides who live lives of lies, and not only have nothing in common with this woman, but probably stand against a lot of her way of thinking, will discuss what's best for her. What a ****** up world we're living in when this sort of carry on still exists. 

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What a brave young woman. I wonder how many others in the Kingdom would flee given the chance. The rule when I was there was that women could not travel in KSA without the permission of husband/ father or brother. This young woman would not have got out had she not been out of KSA in Kuwait. 

What had she to look forward to, being one of 4 wives of a Saudi man, only purpose to breed, to be simply discarded when he wanted a replacement to his collection?

Anyone who has brought a daughter through teenager years knows how strong willed they can be. 

I hope Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun finds freedom and a future.

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11 minutes ago, tominbkk said:

If she is sent back she will be hung in the town square as a reminder to all other girls who might have the same idea.

I'm familiar with a case some years back of a Saudi man who renounced Islam in a southern Saudi city.

 

We were kept up to date by the nurses at the military hospital where he was kept under guard and assessed for mental health. He kept insisting he was renouncing the religion

 

Assessed as sane he was taken to chop square one Friday and beheaded.

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3 hours ago, webfact said:

“I believe the father and brother of al-Qunun want to give information to the UNHCR for it to have both sides of the story. I think this will be fair to both sides,” he said.

The father and brother will say, "our little poor sister is insane, please let her come back with us in our lovely country."

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Whatever you do, Rahaf, don't meet with your father and brother. They will only exert extreme psychological pressure on you, if not physically attack you somehow (let's hope all concerned are leery of this happening and keep the two males well away from her). 

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19 minutes ago, Dexlowe said:

Whatever you do, Rahaf, don't meet with your father and brother. They will only exert extreme psychological pressure on you, if not physically attack you somehow (let's hope all concerned are leery of this happening and keep the two males well away from her). 

At least a supervised meet, although the language used will be important.

I would worry as she will feel dominated by her father and may not represent herself well.

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Why are the Thai authorities allowing her father and brother to come?

She is 18 an adult, not a minor child.

No matter what happens Big Joke will twist things, string it out just so he gets as much media coverage as possible.

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