Canada grants asylum to Saudi woman

Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun walks in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. Photo: AP/ Sakchai Lalit
Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun walks in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.

January 11, 2019 12:36 PM

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will grant asylum to a Saudi woman fleeing alleged family abuse.

Trudeau said Friday Canada accepted the United Nations request.

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Earlier Friday, Thailand's immigration police chief said 18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun had left on a flight headed for Canada.


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Alqunun was stopped last Saturday at a Bangkok airport by immigration police who denied her entry and seized her passport.

She barricaded herself in an airport hotel room and launched a social media campaign that drew global attention to her case.

The move could further upset Saudi-Canada relations. In August, Saudi Arabia expelled Canada's ambassador to the kingdom and withdrew its own ambassador after Canada's foreign ministry tweeted support for the arrests of women's right activists. The Saudis also sold Canadian investments and ordered their citizens studying in Canada to leave.

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The Associated Press

(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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