Australia urged to help Saudi teenager barricaded inside Thai hotel room


"She had no further documents such as return ticket or money", he said, adding that Rahaf was now staying at an airport hotel.

A Saudi teen held at Bangkok airport said she would be killed if she was repatriated by Thai immigration officials, who confirmed that the 18-year-old was denied entry to the country yesterday.

"Thai authorities should immediately halt any deportation, and either allow her to continue her travel to Australia or permit her to remian in Thailand to seek protection as a refugee".

Saudi laws require females to get permission from male relatives before they travel or undertake a host of everyday tasks, restrictions which make it doubly hard for those wishing to escape family or life in the Islamic kingdom.

"However, UNHCR consistently advocates that refugees and asylum seekers, having been confirmed or claimed to be in need of worldwide protection, can not be returned to their countries of origin according to the principle of non-refoulement, which prevents states from expelling or returning persons to a territory where their life or freedom would be threatened".

During a video livestream showing her walking around a carpeted hallway, Qunun spoke in Arabic about how her father had told Saudi embassy officials she was a "psychiatric patient" who had to be returned, even though she had "an Australian visa".

Ms Qunun told AFP she had been kept in her room by her family for six months because she had cut her hair.

Upon arriving in Thailand, she claimed that her passport was taken away by a man at the airport on the pretext of getting her a Thai visa.

A young Saudi woman reportedly trapped at Bangkok's main airport is being held for not having a return ticket, Saudi officials have said. Saudi and Thai officials told her she would be forced to return to Kuwait on the morning of January 7, where her father and brother are awaiting her.

"@realDonaldTrump please help me", she tweeted.

Alqunun said she was certain she would be jailed if she were sent back. Thai authorities deny acting at the request of the Saudi government and say she did not have the correct documents for a visa on arrival.

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"She will be deported to the State of Kuwait where her family" lives, it added.

The teenager has tweeted a video which shows her barricading her hotel door with a table and a mattress.

She posted a photograph of her passport to Twitter, saying it was to confirm both her identity and her age.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Bangkok said it was trying to meet Qunun.

"They said "you have three minutes to pack, and you will be flown back to Kuwait tomorrow at 11.15am, then returned to Saudi Arabia"," she told AAP.

Human Rights Watch Asia division deputy director Phil Robertson said the organisation was trying to lodge an asylum claim with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

"She was over-exaggerating. She fled her family from Saudi Arabia and arrived in Thailand but she didn't have necessary documents to enter".

Georg Schmidt, the German ambassador to Thailand, wrote on Twitter that he had "great concern" for Alqunun and was in touch with the Thai authorities and the embassies of other countries about her situation.

The ultra-conservative Saudi kingdom has always been criticised for imposing some of the world's toughest restrictions on women. We can issue her w emergency travel docs so she can board flight to Australia & seek safety.

Saudi Arabia has come under fierce criticism following the murder of dissident journalist Khashoggi inside the kingdom's Istanbul consulate on October 2 - a case that stunned the world.

The Saudi embassy in Thailand and officials in Riyadh could not be reached for immediate comment.