• 7 January 2019
  • Author: QT01
  • Number of views: 665
’We will not send anyone to their death’: Thailand vows not to deport Saudi woman
Thailand’s immigration police chief says a Saudi woman who fled her family at the weekend will be given temporary entry to the country.
Thai immigration officials had tried to return Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, to Kuwait, where her family is.
She refused to board a flight to Kuwait City on Monday, and barricaded herself into her hotel room at Bangkok airport.
The teenager said she believed her family would kill her if she went back because she had renounced Islam.
The Thai authorities said her status would be assessed by the UN refugee agency.
“My brothers and family and the Saudi embassy will be waiting for me in Kuwait,” she told Reuters.
“My life is in danger. My family threatens to kill me for the most trivial things.”
Rights groups including Human Rights Watch have expressed grave concerns for Ms Mohammed al-Qunun, who arrived at Bangkok’s international airport on a flight from Kuwait. She had travelled to Thailand for a connecting flight to Australia, where she hoped to seek asylum.
Thailand’s chief of immigration police Surachate Hakparn said on Monday afternoon local time that the country would “protect her as best we can”.
“She is now under the sovereignty of Thailand, no-one and no embassy can force her to go anywhere,” he said. “We will talk to her and do whatever she requests.
“Since she escaped trouble to seek our help… we will not send anyone to their death.”
An injunction filed by Thai lawyers in Bangkok criminal court to stop the deportation was dismissed earlier on Monday.
Thailand is not a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention, and provides no legal protection to asylum-seekers – although there are more than 100,000 refugees in the country.