Canada Is Granting Saudi Teen Rahaf Al-Qunun Asylum
The Saudi teenager who fled from her allegedly abusive family has been granted asylum in Canada.
Rahaf al-Qunun, 18, caught the world’s attention when she live-tweeted her fight against deportation by barricading herself in a Thai hotel room.
After her social media campaign — aided by her friends — went viral, the United Nations assessed her claims of asylum and recognized her as a refugee.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had initially referred Qunun’s case to Australia for “consideration of refugee settlement.” However, the agency later withdrew it’s referral to Australia, Global News reported.
The UNHCR then requested Canada to accept Qunun as a refugee. Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said Friday that he had accepted the request to grant the teen asylum.
“Canada has been unequivocal that we will always stand up for human rights and women’s rights around the world,” he said. “When the UN made a request of Canada that we grant Miss al-Qunun asylum, we accepted.”
The announcement came hours after Qunun’s Twitter account was deactivated because of death threats.
The teen said she fled from her relatives who she alleged abused and beat her. Qunun also said that she had recently renounced Islam and that her family had threatened to kill her “for the most trivial things.”