Saudi Teen 'Under Care' Of UNHCR In Bangkok
A Saudi teenager has allowed stay in Thailand temporarily, under the care of the UN refugee agency.
That's according to the head of the Thai immigration police.
It's after 18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun barricaded herself into a Bangkok Airport hotel room.
She claims her family will have her killed if she is sent back to Saudia Arabia after renouncing Islam and fleeing the country.
She is seeking asylum in Australia - and pleaded for help on social media, tweeting a video which shows her barricading her hotel door with a table and a mattress.
Thai authorities ealier said they would not deport her against her will.
They also granted the UNHCR access to MS Alqunun at Bangkok Airport to assess her need for international refugee protection.
Ms Alqunun said her father had arrived in Thailand, but that she 'feels safe' under UNHCR protection.
She also said her passport had been returned to her.
Hey I'm Rahaf. My father just arrived as I heard witch worried and scared me a lot and I want to go to another country that I seek asylum in— Rahaf Mohammed ??? ???? ?????? (@rahaf84427714) January 7, 2019
But at least I feel save now under UNHCR protection with the agreement of Thailand authorities. And I finally got my passport back?????? pic.twitter.com/pQER7HDVi7
Deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch, Phil Robertson, says the teenager wants to live her own life.
"She is a very independent women who wants to live her own life - she wants to decide what she's going to study and what she's going to do for work.
"I think she is not prepared to have a very strict patriarchy of her family and the government restrictions imposed on her".