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Saudi Woman Trying to Flee Family Trapped at Bangkok Airport PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL AFP6 Jan 2019

The teenager barricaded herself in her hotel room at Bangkok airport at the weekend after she said her passport was confiscated by a Saudi official who planned to forcibly return her to her family, whom she fears will kill her. "My life is in danger".

The Head of the Thai Immigration Service, Swartzat Hakparn, told reporters that "the morning flight was via Kuwait Airways to bring her back to Saudi Arabia".

"If she prefers to travel to Australia, we will coordinate with the (Australian) embassy for her".

Rahaf was vacationing in Kuwait with her family when she planned her escape with the help of a friend, allegedly to escape mental and physical abuse they put her through, MailOnline reported.

Photos released on Monday night by immigration police showed Ms Alqunun with Thai and United Nations officials after she left the airport transit hotel room where she had been holed up over the weekend, sending her pleas for help on her Twitter account. She said she had been beaten and male relatives had threatened to kill her. Her story has also put Saudi Arabia's restrictive guardianship laws, which govern many aspects of women's lives, back under global scrutiny.

Thailand is known to deport refugees to countries such as China, Pakistan and it was being said that Qunan too would be sent back to her home country.

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Abuse by her family was one of the reasons Alqunun cited for fleeing.

The immigration police released photos of Surachate and his team sitting down with Saudi embassy charge d'affaires Abdulilah al-Shouaibi.

HRW's Robertson said Qunun "faces grave harm if she is forced back to Saudi Arabia".

After a worldwide appeal, which saw the hashtag #SaveRahaf trending across cyberspace, UNHCR representatives granted refugee status to Rahaf after being allowed access to her by the Thai authorities.

The UNHCR said that Ms Mohammed al-Qunun's asylum claim would take "several days" to assess.

Saudi Arabia has denied claims that it intervened at the airport and has said she should be returned to her family, arguing that they fear for her safety.

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Maj. Gen. Surachate Hakparn says that after the father of Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun arrives, officials will see what happens and whether or not she will want to go back with him.

She later barricaded herself in the room she was being detained and used Twitter to plea for help, saying she would be killed if she were deported to Saudi Arabia.

In Australia, a senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, called on her government, through social media, to issue Qunun an emergency travel document so she could fly to Australia to seek asylum.

Saudi woman Rahaf Mohammed Al-qunun is greeted by Thai immigration authorities at a hotel inside Suvarnabhumi.

In response, the Australia director at Human Rights Watch, Elaine Pearson told the Guardian, "if the visa has been cancelled it would be very concerning". Legally, Saudi women must have a male guardian to function within their society, making it hard for them to escape abusive situations from male family members or husbands. "She had a passport but no return ticket, no travel plan, and no destination or hotel reservation in per airport security procedures, immigration denied her entry". She fled her family from Saudi Arabia and arrived in Thailand but she didn't have necessary documents to enter.

A law firm trying to prevent the deportation from Thailand of a Saudi woman seeking to go to Australia to get asylum to escape from an allegedly abusive family says a Thai court has turned down its request for an injunction.

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