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Saudi teen asylum-seeker fleeing alleged abuse by family arrives in Canada



The Saudi adolescent who fled the alleged ill-treatment of her family arrived in Canada on Saturday

Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, 18, appeared smiling as she came out of a door at the Toronto airport after a dramatic week that saw her get away from her family while visiting Kuwait and then head to Bangkok, Thailand.

She barricaded herself in a Thai airport hotel to avoid deportation. His case has attracted global attention after organizing a social media campaign through his Twitter for asylum.

His efforts gathered enough public and diplomatic support to convince Thai officials to temporarily admit it under the protection of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees granted his refugee status on Wednesday

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Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada will accept Alqunun as a refugee in a case that highlighted the cause of women's rights in Arabia Arabia. Several Saudi girls and women fleeing their families' abuses were surprised while seeking asylum abroad in recent years and returned home. Human rights activists say that many of these cases have not been reported.

  Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun (photo in Bangkok) arrived in Canada on Saturday 12 January 2019.

Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun (photo in Bangkok) arrived in Canada Saturday, 12 January 2019.
(AP)

Alqunun previously tweeted two photos from his plane seat with the hashtag, "I did" and a number of emojis.

Canada's decision to grant her asylum could further disrupt the country's relations with Saudi Arabia Arabia

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In August, Saudi Arabia expelled Canada's ambassador to the kingdom and withdrew its ambassador after the Canadian Foreign Ministry tweeted support for women's rights activists who had been arrested The Saudis also sold Canadian investments and ordered their citizens to study in Canada to leave.

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Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said that the teenager had a "very long and tiring journey" and I would not ask any questions that day.

"This very courageous Canadian," said Freeland.

Elizabeth Llorente and the Fox News Associated Press contributed to this report.


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