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13 January, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Saudi teen granted asylum in Canada

AFP, Ottawa
Saudi teen granted asylum in Canada

The young Saudi woman who fled her family see­king asylum abroad is scheduled to land in Canada yesterday after successfully harnessing the power of Twitter to stave off deportation from Thailand. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, was already en route to Toronto late Friday when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would take her in. Trudeau's surprise announcement came after officials had heavily hinted that she was bound for Australia.

"Canada has been unequivocal that we'll stand up for human rights and women's rights around the world," Trudeau said. "When the United Nations made a request of us that we grant al-Qunun's asylum, we accepted." The move is sure to further strain Canada’s relations with the kingdom that went side ways last August over Ottawa’s rights criticism of Saudi Arabia, prompting Riyadh to expel the Canadian ambassador and sever all trade and investment ties in protest.

Canada also sparked fury in Riyadh by demanding the “immediate release” of jailed rights campaigners, including Samar Badawi, the sister of jailed blogger Raif Badawi, whose family lives in Quebec. Qunun’s attempt to flee the ultra-conservative kingdom was embraced by rights groups as a beacon of defiance against repression. Thai authorities initially threatened to deport her after she arrived in Bangkok from Kuwait last weekend.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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