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Thai police: Canada, Australia willing to accept Saudi woman

AP  |  Bangkok 

Several countries including and are in talks with to accept a Saudi who fled alleged abuse from her family, said Friday.

Thailand's immigration police chief, Surachate Hakparn, told reporters the U.N. was accelerating the case, though he gave no indication of when the process would be complete.

was stopped at a airport on Saturday by Thai immigration police who denied her entry and seized her passport.

While barricading herself in an airport hotel room, the 18-year-old launched a via her account that drew global attention to her case. It garnered enough public and diplomatic support to convince Thai officials to admit her temporarily under the protection of UN officials.

The UN High Commissioner for eventually granted her refugee status on Wednesday.

Alqunun's case has highlighted the cause of women's rights in Several female Saudis fleeing abuse by their families have been caught trying to seek asylum abroad in recent years and returned home. Human rights activists say many similar cases have gone unreported.

By Friday, Alqunun had closed down her account. Sophie McNeill, a with the who has had exclusive access to Alqunun, said Friday in a posting that Alqunun "is safe and fine." "She's just been receiving a lot of death threats," McNeill wrote, adding that Alqunun would be back on Twitter after a "short break." Alqunun had previously said on Twitter that she wishes to seek refuge in

Australia's met with senior Thai officials in on Thursday. She later told reporters that assessing Alqunun's request for resettlement, but there was no specific timeframe.

Payne said she also raised Australia's concerns with Thai officials about Hakeem Al-araibi, a 25-year-old former member of Bahrain's national soccer team, who was granted refugee status in Australia in 2017 after fleeing his homeland, where he said he was persecuted and tortured.

Hakeem's case is being considered by Thailand's justice system, she said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 11 2019. 16:55 IST
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