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Saudi teen held in Bangkok declared a refugee by UN and her case referred to Australia

This is quite a significant decision from the UN.  I understand that Ms Alqunun's claim is that she risks persecution from Islamists over her decision to renounce Islam.  Good call in affording her the protections we in civilised societies take for granted.

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The UN refugee agency has referred the case of a Saudi woman claiming asylum to Australia for consideration.

Key points:

  • The UNHCR has found Ms Alqunun is a genuine refugee
  • The Department of Home Affairs says it will consider the referral
  • Ms Alqunun claimed she will be killed if she is returned to Saudi Arabia

Rahaf Alqunun, 18, was stopped by officials in Thailand while on her way to Australia.

She barricaded herself in a hotel room at Bangkok airport, saying she risked being killed by her family if she was deported back to Saudi Arabia.

The UNHCR has assessed her case and found she is a refugee.

In a statement, the Department of Home Affairs says it will consider the referral from the UN in the usual way.

She will be subject to Australian checks before she is granted a humanitarian visa, including character and security assessments.