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Rahaf Alqunun, who fears being killed by her relatives if she returns to Saudi Arabia, is now in Thailand where United Nations refugee authorities have been processing her request for asylum.

Australia's home affairs minister has warned there will be "no special treatment" in the case of Saudi teenager Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, the 18-year-old Saudi woman who barricaded herself in a Bangkok airport hotel room to prevent her forcible return to a family she claims will kill her.

Thai immigration officials also said there was no record of an airline ticket onward, which should have allowed her to pass through Bangkok.

"They will kill me because I fled and because I announced my atheism", she said.

After protracted negotiations overnight Monday, Ms Alqunun was placed under the protection of the United Nations.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport from Kuwait on the weekend after slipping away from a family holiday.

Al-Qunun's brother and father are arriving in Bangkok today but she has expressed fears of such a meeting through her Twitter account.

"Since Thailand is the 'Land of Smiles, ' of course we won't send someone to their death", he said. "We will not send anyone to die".

The Thai authorities obliged and detained Rahaf at an airport hotel until she could be deported back to Kuwait on Sunday. She also said she had renounced her religion, Islam.

"She's an adult woman who has escaped Saudi Arabia's repressive and discriminatory "guardianship" laws and these men must recognize the rules have changed", he said, adding it is "solely her decision" whether or not to meet them.

Later she sent me a two-word appeal on a Twitter direct message, saying "Hi Help!"

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Human Rights Watch Asia division deputy director Phil Robertson questioned a statement by Thailand's immigration chief to the BBC that Alqunun did not have a travel visa for the Asian country, saying she was in transit to Australia when she was detained and did not need a visa, which is available on arrival anyway.

The decision was a matter for Immigration Minister David Coleman, Mr Dutton said.

"Her time in Thailand is uncertain and while it's positive that she has access to UNHCR and her case is being reviewed, we know that the Thai authorities have kept other individuals and those who've sought asylum in reprimand, in detention, waiting for long periods of time to be granted asylum", she said.

Without her family's knowledge, the young Saudi rebel obtained an Australian visa and an airline ticket to Sydney, Australia, where she meant to ask for asylum.

He said the Thai government "needs to explain why diplomats from Saudi Arabia are allowed to walk in closed areas of the Bangkok airport, seizing one of their citizen's passports".

Saudi Arabia's embassy in Thailand on January 8 denied reports that Saudi Arabia had requested her extradition, according to Reuters.

Alqunun's case is similar to that of Dina Ali Lasloom, a young Saudi woman who fled to the Philippines from Kuwait in 2017.

Rahaf's posts immediately caused outcry on social media and attracted a flurry of responses.

It comes at a time when Riyadh is facing unusually intense scrutiny from its Western allies over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October and over the humanitarian consequences of its war in Yemen.

Alqunun's case has again highlighted the cause of women's rights in Saudi Arabia.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had styled himself as a reformer, with women recently granted the right to drive, but these cases raise questions over how the regime exercises control.


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