Saudi Arabia denies requesting extradition of teenage girl in Thailand
The Saudi girl arrived in Bangkok on Saturday from Kuwait, saying her family would kill her if she was forced to go back to them.
Saudi Arabia`s embassy in Thailand on Tuesday tweeted that Riyadh had not requested the extradition of a young Saudi girl seeking asylum in Thailand.
The 18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, who fled from her family and managed to barricade herself inside a hotel near Bangkok airport to stop the Thai authorities expelling from her, was allowed to leave the airport on Monday after talks with the United Nations refugee agency, Reuters reported.
Rahaf arrived in Bangkok on Saturday from Kuwait, saying her family would kill her if she was forced to go back to them.
On Monday, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) had urged Thai authorities to stop Rahaf's deportation.
The Saudi teen had refused to board Kuwait Airlines Flight KU412, set to depart from Bangkok to Kuwait at 11.15 a.m., on Monday.
The young woman was on her way to Australia when she was intercepted during a stopover at the Thai airport by personnel from the Saudi embassy, who confiscated her passport and plane ticket. "Saudi women fleeing their families can face severe violence from relatives, deprivation of liberty, and other serious harm if returned against their will," HRW Middle East Director Michael Page said in a statement.
"Thai authorities should immediately halt any deportation, and either allow her to continue her travel to Australia or permit her to remain in Thailand to seek protection as a refugee," he added. Al-Qunun said her family subjected her to various abuses, including beatings and threats, and that she fled from them when visiting Kuwait, which does not require females to get the authorisation of a male relative to leave the country.
(With agencies input)