Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun Thailand citing concerns for her safety.

A Saudi woman who is being held in Bangkok after trying to escape her abusive family has told of her terror that she will be killed if she is deported.

Rahaf Mohammed al Qunun, 18, has been trapped in the airport since arriving at 4am GMT on Sunday.

She intended to reach Australia and apply for asylum but a Saudi official in the Thai airport confiscated her passport after her father reported her for travelling without her male ‘guardian’. He claimed she was mentally ill but failed to provide any evidence.

Rahaf was due to be escorted on to the 11.15am (4.15am GMT) Kuwait Airways flight 412 from Bangkok to Kuwait this morning.

But Qunun posted a video on Twitter on Monday of her barricading her hotel door with a table and a mattress.

A Thai immigration official confirmed Qunun was still in the hotel room on Monday morning. Another airport official confirmed that the Kuwait Airways flight she was scheduled to be on had left.

She, her parents, and her six siblings live in Ha’il in Saudi Arabia, where her father works as a government official. She has suffered beatings and emotional abuse from her family, at one point being locked in her room for six months for cutting her hair.

When they took a trip to visit family in Kuwait she made her escape, buying flights from Kuwait to Thailand and from Thailand to Australia with help from a friend, and taking a taxi to the airport at 4am after checking her father was asleep.

She said: ‘When I came to Thailand someone told me that he will help me to get a visa for Thailand in the airport. After that he took my passport. After one hour he came back with five or six people, I think they were police or something and then they told me my father is so angry and I must go back to Saudi Arabia. They know I ran away from him.’

In a text conversion on the messaging app Whatsapp, her father told an airport employee official Rahaf was mentally ill, but when challenged to provide evidence or documentation, he fell silent.

Rahaf demanded her passport back and asked to be allowed to fly to a another country, but officials insisted she would be deported.

She said: ‘They kept telling me I can’t get a visa. The airline told me I have to stay here so I can go back to Kuwait. From Kuwait they [my family] will take me to Saudi Arabia.

‘They will kill me. I am so scared. I want to go to another country, and stay safe. I have a visa for Australia, I want to go there. I don’t know what I will do.

‘I have to fight, because I don’t want to lose my life.’

Human Rights Watch has called on the Thai government to grant sanctuary to Rahaf, who they believe may be at ‘serious risk of harm’ if returned to her family.

The charity said no visa was necessary because Rahaf had not applied to enter Thailand because her passport was taken, along with her plane ticket to Australia – and that Thai authorities have prevented her from having access to UNHCR to make a refugee claim.

Human Rights Watch Asia deputy director Phil Robertson told MailOnline: ‘As far as we can tell, her father is a prominent government official, I expect he’s going to be very very harsh.

‘Certainly he’s senior enough to do whatever he wants to his daughter and nobody is going to raise a finger against him.

‘There’s a long history of what they call ‘honour violence’.

‘I think she’s at serious risk. We’ve been pressing the UN to get in there. They need to go to the airport.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here