A Saudi teenager who fled to Thailand in fear that she would be killed by her male relatives has been declared a legitimate refugee by the United Nations, which has asked Australia to consider resettling her. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, said she was forced to flee her family after she renounced Islam and barricaded herself inside a hotel room at a Bangkok airport. Thai immigration officials had initially said she should return to Kuwait, where her family was waiting, but a social-media campaign drew international attention to her case. Australia said it would consider resettling her if the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) deemed her a refugee, which it has now done. “The UNHCR has referred Ms. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun to Australia for consideration for refugee resettlement,” Australia’s Department of Homeland Security said. Australia’s Department of Home Affairs said it would “consider this referral in the usual way,” but officials previously hinted that it would be willing to take her in.
TOP 10 RIGHT NOW