TORONTO — A young Saudi woman who is on the run from her family is expected to arrive in Toronto today.
Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun fled what she alleges is an abusive family, escaping to Bangkok, Thailand where she barricaded herself in an airport hotel room and launched a Twitter campaign that drew global attention to her case.
Justin Trudeau told a press conference in Regina yesterday that the United Nations High Commission for Refugees asked Canada to grant the 18-year-old Alqunun asylum as a refugee, and Canada agreed.
The prime minister also brushed aside suggestions the move might further complicate already strained relations with Saudi Arabia.
Canadian diplomats in the Thai capital were immediately seized with Alqunun’s plight, and though she originally said she wanted to go to Australia, it became clear in the past week that Canada represented her quickest path to freedom.
The organization Human Rights Watch has praised Canada for acting swiftly to provide sanctuary to a vulnerable young woman.
The Canadian Press