Rahaf al-Qunun: Labor says Saudi refugee should be resettled in Australia

Rahaf Mohammed Al Qunun is currently in the care of United Nations officials

Rahaf Mohammed Al Qunun is currently in the care of United Nations officials

Her case has drawn attention to Saudi Arabia's strict societal rules, including one that obliges women to have the permission of a male guardian to travel.

A Saudi woman has been given refugee status by the United Nations and is being considered for resettlement by the Australian government.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qanun is safe at last.

Alqunun had previously said on Twitter that she wishes to seek refuge in Australia.

She soon started posting messages on Twitter from the transit area of Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport saying she had "escaped Kuwait" and her life would be in danger if forced to return to Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi teen has been accepted as a refugee by Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday.

It led to her referral to Australia on Wednesday.

Rahaf's swift use of Twitter saw her amass more than 100,000 followers within a week, highlighting her plight at a time when Saudi Arabia's human rights record is under heavy scrutiny following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi a year ago.

Australia's Foreign Minister Marise Payne met with senior Thai officials in Bangkok, where Ms al-Qunun is now located, on Thursday.

Ms Qunun's desperate tweets ricocheted across social media with the #SaveRahaf hashtag drawing an outpouring of support but also the bile of some hardliners in her native country.

The decision to give haven to the 18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun capped a almost week-long drama that highlighted the power of social media to call attention to her case and reverse initial plans by Thai officials to deport her back to Kuwait, where she fled her family while on holiday.

She was taken into the care of the UN's refugee agency, UNHCR, and Australia's department of home affairs announced that her case had been referred to officials in Canberra.

Federal officials had signaled earlier in the week that Canada would be open to taking in the teenager, after she had asked Canada for help, via her Twitter account.

Global News reached out to the UNHCR Canada for a comment, but a spokesperson said due to "protection reasons" the agency can not talk about her case.

Surachate said Alqunun's father wanted his daughter back but respected her decision.

She left Bangkok just before midnight local time Friday on a Korean Air flight bound for Seoul, a Thai airport official told Reuters.

"She will fly to Canada at 11:15 pm tonight (1615 GMT)", immigration chief Surachate Hakparn told AFP. She later told reporters that Australia is assessing Alqunun's request for resettlement but there was no specific timeframe. It said her case had inspired millions and should remind people of the bravery and sacrifices of people who flee their native lands for safety. "We will go through those according to our own system and our own process", she said.

The ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia has come under fire since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the country's consulate in Istanbul previous year.

Despite having harnessed the power of Twitter to stave off deportation on Friday, she abruptly suspended her account, with friends saying she had received death threats.

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