The UNHCR has indeed sent the file of “Rahaf Mohammed Al-Qunun to Australia to consider the opportunity to grant her asylum as a refugee,” said the Australian Ministry of the Interior in a communicated.
“If it turns out to be a refugee, then we will really, really seriously consider the need for a humanitarian visa,” said Health Minister Greg Hunt earlier on the channel ABC. He said he discussed the case with Immigration Minister David Coleman Tuesday night, even as Australia is known for its draconian immigration policy.
Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, arrived in Bangkok this weekend from Kuwait, saying she wanted to escape the psychological and physical abuse of her family and seek asylum in Australia.
The Thai authorities, who frequently push back the border (between 50 and 100 per year) have given up the expulsion after she posted on Twitter a multitude of desperate messages and videos, immediately gaining international notoriety.
“The UNHCR will find a third country to host her within two days,” the head of the Thai immigration police, Surachate Hakparn, said on Wednesday to the press mentioning that “several countries” had offered to welcome the young woman.
Thai police said the father and a brother of the young woman had gone to Bangkok, but she “refused to see them.
Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s most restrictive countries for women’s rights. In particular, women are subject to the guardianship of a man (father, husband or other) who exercises arbitrary authority over him and takes important decisions in his place.
The Qunun case took on a particular dimension after the murder of journalist Jamal Kashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.