The Latest: Thai police say they won’t deport Saudi woman

The Latest on a Saudi woman who says she is fleeing abuse by her family (all times local):

4:35 p.m.

Thailand’s Immigration Police chief says the young Saudi woman who was stopped in Bangkok as she was trying to travel to Australia for asylum to escape alleged abuse by her family will not be sent anywhere against her wishes.

Maj. Gen. Surachate Hakparn said at a news conference at Bangkok’s main international airport on Monday that Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun will be allowed to meet U.N. refugee officials. He said he will discuss allowing them to see her later Monday.

Aqunun is barricaded in an airport hotel room and has been pleading to talk to the U.N. officials.

Surachate also said if Thai authorities decide not to send her back to Saudi Arabia then they would need to explain why to Saudi authorities in order not to affect the countries’ relations.

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3:55 p.m.

A law firm trying to prevent the deportation from Thailand of a Saudi woman seeking to go to Australia to get asylum to escape from an allegedly abusive family says a Thai court has turned down its request for an injunction.

The NPS law firm said on Facebook on Monday that the Bangkok Criminal Court turned down its request in the case of 18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun because there was not enough evidence and it was not clear who she is.

Alqunun arrived in Bangkok on Saturday night intending to transit to Australia. She says her passport was seized and she was put in an airport hotel room and told she would have to fly Monday morning to Kuwait, from where she flew. But she remained barricaded in her room.

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1:05 p.m.

A Saudi woman who says she is fleeing abuse by her family and wants asylum in Australia has barricaded herself in an airport hotel room at an international airport in the Thai capital and is sending out desperate pleas for help over social media.

Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun began posting on Twitter late Saturday after her passport was taken away when she arrived on a flight from Kuwait. The 18-year-old has been appealing for aid from the United Nations refugee agency and anyone else who can help.

On Twitter, she wrote of being in “real danger” if forced to return to her family under pressure from Saudi authorities. She tweeted Monday that a friend would carry on posting to her account if she was taken away or denied access to it.

AP

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