Australia FM says nation assessing resettlement push for Saudi girl in Thailand

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Australia FM says country assessing resettlement push for Saudi woman in Thailand
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AFP / Lillian SUWANRUMPHA
Marise Payne can be anticipated to foyer for the return to Australia of a Bahraini refugee detained in Thailand

Australia’s international minister Thursday declined to say how lengthy it’ll take to think about a UN request to resettle a younger Saudi girl who fled her household, because the 18-year-old’s plight sparked a topless protest in Sydney and debate amongst Saudis over their nation’s restrictive “guardianship” legal guidelines.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun’s try and flee the ultra-conservative kingdom has grow to be a trigger celebre for rights teams because the 18-year-old landed in Bangkok from Kuwait final weekend.

Thai authorities threatened to deport her however with the assistance of activists, diplomats and a swiftly opened Twitter account Qunun launched an impassioned asylum marketing campaign.

As international curiosity surged — and her Twitter followers snowballed into the tens of hundreds — the Thais backed down from deportation, handing her into the care of the UN refugee company (UNHCR) in Bangkok, which urged Australia to supply resettlement.

International Minister Marise Payne, on a scheduled go to to Bangkok to satisfy her Thai counterpart, instructed reporters Australia was “engaged within the steps of the evaluation means of Miss Al-Qunun as required.”

She mentioned there was “no risk” that Qunun would return to Australia together with her Thursday and wouldn’t speculate on a timeframe if — as Canberra has closely hinted this week — she is granted refuge standing.

AFP / John SAEKI
Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun

Qunun alleges abuse by her household, whereas rights teams additionally mentioned she had renounced Islam, risking prosecution in conservative Saudi Arabia.

Her father, who denies mistreating her, will stay in Bangkok “till he is aware of which nation she goes to”, Thailand’s immigration police chief instructed reporters Thursday.

The Saudi embassy in Bangkok has mentioned it didn’t demand {the teenager}’s deportation and the case was a household affair.

Saudi Arabia has been hammered with criticism because the homicide of journalist Jamal Khashoggi within the nation’s consulate in Istanbul final 12 months.

However wider points together with girls’s rights have repeatedly come into the worldwide view.

– No sanctuary in Thailand –

In an announcement forward of her journey, Payne mentioned she would foyer for the return to Australia of former Bahraini nationwide footballer Hakeem Alaraibi, who was granted refugee standing there after fleeing a crackdown throughout the Arab Spring.

AFP / SAEED KHAN
Human rights teams and the Australian soccer neighborhood maintain a protest in entrance of the Sydney Opera Home for the discharge of refugee footballer Hakeem Alaraibi

He’s needed within the Gulf state on costs linked to rioting, which he denies.

Alaraibi was detained in Bangkok in November whereas attempting to go on trip.

Payne reiterated Australia’s name for Thailand to not ship Alaraibi again to Bahrain.

Qunun’s case has revived curiosity within the plight of the footballer, who has been held in Bangkok detention.

The Saudi weighed in on Alaraibi’s case on her extensively adopted Twitter account.

“I am with you #Hakeem,” she tweeted Thursday.

Thailand, which isn’t a signatory to the UN code on defending the rights of refugees, has repeatedly confronted criticism for detaining or sending again individuals with asylum claims to repressive regimes.

Australia has additionally come beneath hearth for re-routing migrants making an attempt to reach by boat to offshore island camps.

On Thursday, the Secret Sisterhood — a protest group advocating for Qunun to be granted a humanitarian visa to Australia — held a topless demonstration at Sydney’s bustling Martin Place.

4 girls clothed solely in denims and sneakers held up indicators saying “Let Her In” and calling Qunun a “Sisterhood Hero”.

In Saudi Arabia, Qunun’s asylum plea sparked uncommon criticism — together with from males — of the nation’s restrictive “guardianship” legal guidelines.

Qunun had instructed AFP that fleeing her household throws her into battle with the Saudi system, which permits male relations to make selections for feminine kin, and if returned, she is “100 p.c” certain she can be killed by her household.



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