Newstalk
Newstalk

13.28 12 Jan 2019


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A Saudi teenager who began a social media campaign to escape her family has been granted asylum in Canada.

Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun said she feared being abused or killed by her male relatives for not following Saudi Arabia's strict laws.

After arriving in Thailand, she pleaded for help on social media - tweeting a video showing her barricading her hotel door with a table and a mattress.

She said that she was stopped at Bangkok Airport in transit from Kuwait and had her passport taken from her.

She claimed that she fled her family fearing for her life and had been planning to head to Australia where she hoped to seek asylum.

She ultimately left the building "under the care" of the UN refugee agency earlier this week.

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau has responded to a request after the UN granted her refugee status.

He said: "We have accepted the UN's request that we grant her asylum.

"That's something we are pleased to do, because Canada is a country that understands how important it is to stand up for human rights, to stand up for women's rights around the world."

Rahaf took to social media to thank supporters for 'saving my life':

She also shared a photo showing her on a plane, adding that she'd post again once she'd arrived in Canada.


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