Saudi teen who fled 'abusive' family is to fly to Canada

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A Saudi teenager who fled her homeland for Thailand to escape her “abusive” family is to fly to Canada, Thai officials say.

Thailand’s immigration chief said Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun would be leaving the country on Friday after she was granted asylum in Canada.

The move comes after the 18-year-old, who will be flying from Bangkok to Seoul before taking a connecting flight to Canada, was given refugee status by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees on Wednesday.

Earlier on Friday, several countries – including Canada and Australia – were in talks with the UN’s refugee agency to accept Ms Alqunun.

The woman, who previously said her passport was seized after being stopped an airport in Bangkok on Saturday, had barricaded herself in an airport hotel room and launched a social media campaign, drawing attention from around the world.

Several Saudi women fleeing abuse by their families have tried to seek asylum abroad in recent years but have been sent back home.

Human rights campaigners say many similar cases have gone unreported.

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The teenager had written on her Twitter account, which now appears to have been taken down, that she wished to seek refuge in Australia.

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