Connect with us

Bangkok

UPDATE: Saudi embassy in Bangkok distances itself from al-Qunun story

Thaiger

Published 

 on 

“Al-Qunun says she doesn’t want to meet with her father or brother.”

The Thai immigration police chief yesterday met with Saudi Embassy officials in Bangkok as Saudi Arabia tried to distance itself from accusations that it tried to block a young woman trying to flee her family and seek asylum in Australia.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport from Kuwait on the weekend after slipping away from a family holiday. She’s accused her family abusing of psychologically and physically abusing her.

The 18 year old was stopped by officials in Thailand who confiscated her passport. She was ‘in transit’ for an onward flight to Australia but claims that Saudi officials were ‘waiting for her at arrival gate’.

Al-Qunun has alleged many times that Saudi officials were involved in the seizure of her passport. But the Saudi Embassy in Bangkok claims it is only ‘monitoring her situation’.

A statement from the Saudi Embassy describes al-Qunun’s case as a “family affair,” and that the kingdom did not demand her deportation to Saudi Arabia.

The embassy, along with Thai officials, earlier said that al-Qunun was stopped by Thai authorities in Bangkok because she did not have a return ticket, a hotel reservation or itinerary to show she was a tourist, which appeared to have raised a flag about the reasons for her trip. Conflicting and changing stories from stakeholders in the story continue to muddy the true situation.

Thailand’s immigration police chief Surachate Hakparn says that Saudi diplomats told him yesterday (Tuesday) they were satisfied with how her case was being handled.

“The position of two countries on this matter is the same – that the priority is to provide her safety. We are both concerned for Miss Rahaf’s safety and well-being.”

Al-Qunun’s brother and father are arriving in Bangkok today but she has expressed fears of such a meeting through her Twitter account.

A spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees at its Geneva headquarters, Babar Baloch, says it’s premature to say what will happen next but that it could take several days for the agency to look into al-Qunun’s claims.

Australia’s national broadcaster, the ABC, reports that the country’s Home Affairs Department announced yesterday that it would consider al-Qunun’s application for asylum if she was found to be a genuine refugee. He has called on the Thai authorities and UNHCR to assess her claim as quickly as possible.

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand42 mins ago

Good Morning Thailand | Chris Parker “Retired Working For You”, Auto translate fail, Sandbox update

World58 mins ago

New Zealand economy bounces back to pre-pandemic levels, exceeding forecasts

Myanmar1 hour ago

US Embassy in Thailand issues security alert due to violence near Myanmar border

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Hong Kong1 hour ago

Hong Kong police arrest 5 executives and raid offices of pro-democracy newspaper

Thailand2 hours ago

Thursday Covid Update: 3,129 new cases and 30 deaths

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Medic says 10% of Covid-19 infections in Bangkok are Delta variant

Phuket3 hours ago

TAT asked to make changes to Phuket sandbox before submitting for final approval

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

“We’ll do better on vaccines, there’s loads more on the way” – Anutin

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

Health Department warns: Avoid Covid-19, don’t have sex

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

PM Prayut announces Thailand will fully reopen within 120 days

Transport18 hours ago

Thai Airways rehabilitation plan accepted by Bankruptcy Court

Thailand18 hours ago

Thailand News Today | PM apologises, vaccine delays, Pattaya sandbox? and sharks | June 16

Coronavirus (Covid-19)18 hours ago

Restaurants request easing of Covid-19 rules and financial aid

Thailand18 hours ago

Isaan farmer and son electrocuted and killed by wire fence in rice field

Thailand19 hours ago

Another data breach: Info leaked on Bangkok Immigration website

Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending