The escape of the young Saudi Arab Rahaf Mohammed el-Kunun in front of the own family seems to find a happy ending. The 18-Year-old gets from Canada granted asylum.

After their prevented deportation from Thailand, where she was temporarily stranded, it is expected this Saturday in Toronto. With a line of flight was in the night on the way to their future home. The asylum for the saudi Arabian Teenager could strain the already tense relationship between Canada and the ultra-conservative Kingdom.

her case had attracted worldwide attention. In the meantime, the young woman who had renounced Islam, threatened with deportation. With an unprecedented campaign on the short-messaging service Twitter, it managed to prevent this. The United Nations took the opportunity to remind of the fate of many others, the failure to escape from political, economic or other reasons.

the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau has confirmed that she gets asylum. Originally, the Saudi had wanted Arabia to Australia. In the meantime, she has activated her Twitter account again, it had shut off after insults and threats in the meantime: New photos show how she sits in the plane. In Hand she holds her Saudi passport.

Trudeau said that, with the inclusion of Canada to get a request of the refugee Agency of the United Nations. “The UN high Commissioner for refugees has asked Canada whether we would accept El-Kunun as a refugee. We have answered the request of the UN, to grant her asylum.” Canada is a country entering the world for human rights and for women’s rights.

El-Kunun had settled in a residence in Kuwait of their family. Allegedly she was harassed by male Relatives, and threatened with death. Actually, she wanted to go to Australia. On the way, they landed on Saturday of last week in Bangkok, where the authorities refused to Ask Saudi Arabia’s first, but the more travel. Only with international help, she managed to avoid deportation to home.

Unclear was why, she now goes to Australia. The local authorities had already started the exam, whether you get a visa for humanitarian reasons. The chief of Thailand’s immigration police, Surachate Hakparn, said in Bangkok: “It was your own desire to go to Canada. For Thailand, the matter is now over.”

The 18-Year-old thanked on Twitter again for the support. “Thank you for supporting me and my life you saved,” she wrote. “To be honest: I have this love and this support never dream of. You are the spark that motivated me to become a better person.”

The fall means a new burden on the already tense relationship between Canada and Saudi Arabia. The canadian foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland had expressed last year in a Tweet critical of the arrest of human rights activists in the ultra-conservative Kingdom. Riyadh reacted angrily, and took a series of counter-measures. Among other things, Saudi Arabia was the canadian Ambassador and withdrew its Ambassador from Ottawa. Trudeau remained in the diplomatic crisis, but tough.

Freeland criticized at the time, among other things, the arrest of Samar Badawi, sister of the imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi. His wife Ensaf Haidar is living with her three children in Canada. You have also obtained the citizenship of the country. Raif Badawi was sentenced in Saudi Arabia to a thousand lashes and ten years in prison.

UN high Commissioner for refugees Filippo Grandi said, El-Kununs case show, in what difficult situations, refugees often were. Unfortunately, only a fraction of the 25.4 million refugees have worldwide prospect, to find the recording in a safe country.


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Teodora Torrendo is an investigative journalist and is a correspondent for European Union. She is based in Zurich in Switzerland and her field of work include covering human rights violations which take place in the various countries in and outside Europe. She also reports about the political situation in European Union. She has worked with some reputed companies in Europe and is currently contributing to USA News as a freelance journalist. As someone who has a Masters’ degree in Human Rights she also delivers lectures on Intercultural Management to students of Human Rights. She is also an authority on the Arab world politics and their diversity.


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