According to Thailand’s Khaosod online news portal, on 8 January, Alqunun left the airport under the care of the employees of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Bangkok.
The Thai authorities granted the Saudi fugitive a permission to stay in the country for five days, the period, during which the UN personnel should find a safe country which will provide Alqunun with a permanent shelter, the news outlet added.
On 5 January, Rahaf Alqunun arrived in Bangkok as an in-transit passenger on her way to Australia. In the transit lounge of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport, she had her passport seized by the Saudi Arabian Embassy’s staff who were warned by the woman’s father. Alqunun was requested to fly to her homeland on the first plane to Saudi Arabia, however, the woman refused to do so and stayed in the airport’s transit zone.
The situation with Alqunun’s running away came to light and attracted the attention of human rights activists after the woman released a video address in which she spoke of the reasons for her escape. Alqunun, in particular, said that if she returned to her homeland he would either be jailed or killed by relatives for harming the family’s honour.
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