Saudi woman in Bangkok should not be deported: HRW

Kalerkantho Online   

7 January, 2019 10:44 AM

Saudi woman in Bangkok should not be deported: HRW

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Human Rights Watch has called on Thai authorities to stop the planned deportation of a Saudi woman who is reportedly being held at Bangkok's main airport.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, who says she is trying to flee her family, is set to be deported to Kuwait on Monday.

Ms Mohammed al-Qunun was in Kuwait on holiday with her family when she fled two days ago. She was trying to head to Australia via a connecting flight in Bangkok, reports BBC.

Ms Mohammed al-Qunun started attracting attention with her social media posts over the weekend.

She says she has an Australian visa but her passport was seized by a Saudi diplomat when he met her coming off the flight at Suvarnabhumi airport.

Saudi officials say she still has her passport but is being detained for not having a return ticket.

Ms Mohammed al-Qunun told the BBC that she had renounced Islam, and feared she would be forcibly returned to Saudi Arabia and killed by her family.

The BBC's Jonathan Head in Bangkok says Ms Mohammed al-Qunun is frightened and confused.

Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch said in a statement: "Saudi women fleeing their families can face severe violence from relatives, deprivation of liberty, and other serious harm if returned against their will."