Rahaf Mohammed al Qunun says she ran away from her family while travelling in Kuwait because they subjected her to physical and psychological abuse. "My life is in danger. He came back with what seemed to be airport security and said that my parents objected and said I must return to Saudi Arabia via Kuwait Airways", she said.
"We acknowledged this and checked her paperwork". We also send out a Weekly K+R Update, bundling together all the kidnap, ransom and extortion news of the week in one easy to read newsletter.
Photos released Monday night by immigration police showed Alqunun with Thai and United Nations officials after she left the airport transit hotel room where she had been holed up over the weekend, sending her pleas for help on her Twitter account. "They're using violence with her and she faced sexual harassment".
According to Al-Qunun, they forcibly confiscated her passport and she was threatened with deportation.
Canada and Saudi Arabia have been at loggerheads over human rights issues since the summer, when Canadian Twitter accounts urged the Saudi government to free women's rights activists it had recently jailed.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Qunan said that her family is extremely angry and would kill her.
Thai immigration chief Surachate Hakparn conceded that Twitter can "attract the interest of the global community" but denied authorities were swayed by Rahaf's social media barrage.
THOMAS ORITI: And when did she first hear the word that at the time she was going to be sent back to Saudi Arabia?
"The Australian Embassy in Thailand has made representations to both the Thai Government and the Bangkok office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to seek assurances that Ms al-Qunun can access the UNHCR's refugee status determination process in Thailand", the statement said.
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She said she was once locked in a room for six months because she had cut her hair in a way that her family did not approve of.
Qunun said she had obtained an Australian visa and booked a flight.
Surachate said Alqunun's father and brother were due to arrive soon in Bangkok, but that it was her decision whether to meet with them. But she refused to board a flight on Monday and barricaded herself into her airport hotel room.
She has now be told she is allowed to stay in Thailand "under their care" and will not be sent anywhere against her wishes.
Following reports that Ms Alqunun's visa had been cancelled, the Australian government said on Tuesday it would consider the teenager's request for asylum. The friend also explained that the young woman "received a threat from her cousin-he said he wants to see her blood, he wants to kill her".
"UNHCR consistently advocates that refugees and asylum seekers-having been confirmed or claimed to be in need of worldwide protection-cannot be returned to their countries of origin according to the principle of non-refoulement", she wrote on Twitter.
She said she believed she was stopped after her family appealed to Kuwait Airways. "They will take me to Saudi Arabia and my father will kill me, because he is so angry", she added.
"She was over-exaggerating. She fled her family from Saudi Arabia and arrived in Thailand, but she didn't have necessary documents to enter". According to rights groups, this can trap women and girls who have abusive families.