World|life|January 9, 2019 / 03:28 PM
Rahaf al-Qunun: Saudi woman 'given refugee status'

AKIPRESS.COM - A Saudi woman who fled her family and refused to leave a Bangkok hotel has been declared a legitimate refugee by the UN, the Australian government says, BBC reports.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, refused to board a flight from Bangkok to Kuwait on Monday and barricaded herself into her airport hotel room.

She said she feared her family would kill her for renouncing Islam.

The UN's refugee agency has referred her case to Australia for possible resettlement.

In a brief statement, Australia's Department of Home Affairs said it would "consider this referral in the usual way".

"The government will be making no further comment on this matter," it said.

Refugee status is normally granted by governments, but the UNHCR can grant it where states are "unable or unwilling to do so, according to its website. The UNHCR says it does not comment on individual cases.

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