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INTL Saudi woman, 18, detained at Thai airport, fears she will be killed if deported - CANADA GRANTS ASYLUM
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  1. #1
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    2 Saudi woman, 18, detained at Thai airport, fears she will be killed if deported - CANADA GRANTS ASYLUM

    Alberto Allen
    ‏ @albertoallen
    55s55 seconds ago

    <#BREAKING> Saudi woman, 18, detained at Thai airport, fears she will be killed if deported home


    January 6, 2019 3:42 pm

    An 18-year-old Saudi woman says she has been detained at Thailand’s main international airport at the behest of Saudi authorities who want to stop her from fleeing to Australia.

    Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun began tweeting about her ordeal from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport in the early hours of Sunday, Jan. 6.

    She said her passport was confiscated at the airport even though she possessed the necessary travel documents to travel on to Australia.

    “I’m in real danger because the Saudi embassy trying to forcing me to go back to Saudi Arabia, while I’m at the airport waiting for my second flight,” she said in one of her first tweets. She later revealed her full name and shared a photo of a copy of her passport.

    Saudi embassy officials told her she was going to be put on a plane to Kuwait en route to Saudi Arabia, Rahaf said, even though she doesn’t want to return, fearful of retribution by her family.

    Human Rights Watch (HRW) has backed up Rahaf’s story.

    The NGO’s deputy director for the Asia region, Phil Robertson, confirmed to Global News that he was in contact with Rahaf and believed her story is credible.

    Speaking to Global News from an airport hotel room where she said she’s being held, Rahaf said that she decided to flee Saudi Arabia to escape her abusive family.

    She said she was subjected to beatings by male relatives, who at one point kept her locked up in her bedroom for six months because she cut her hair.

    Australia was her chosen destination because it was possible for her to procure a visa online — “Because I wasn’t able to go anywhere alone,” she said in reference to Saudi Arabia’s guardianship laws, which limit women’s movements.

    She said she escaped by boarding a flight from Kuwait during a family trip there. Unlike Saudi Arabia, Kuwait doesn’t require a male guardian to sign off on women traveling from the country.

    In a tweet issued just after 3 a.m. Monday morning Bangkok time, Rahaf said she was pleading for protection not only from Australia but also from Canada, the U.S. or the United Kingdom, if they were willing to take her.

    Rahaf says her decision to flee Saudi Arabia, and the subsequent social media stir caused by her detention, makes it all the more dangerous for her to return.

    “I’m 100 per cent sure they will KILL me,” she told Global News in a Twitter message, saying her family had threatened her.

    She said she believed she was hours away from being forced on a flight back to Kuwait.

    Her father and other family members told Saudi authorities she was mentally ill in a bid to have her returned, she added.

    Thai authorities have denied Rahaf access to the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees to make a refugee claim, Human Rights Watch said in a press release, adding that Thailand is obliged under international law to ensure that she isn’t forcibly sent to a place where she could be at risk of torture and other human rights violations.

    “Saudi women fleeing their families can face severe violence from relatives, deprivation of liberty, and other serious harm if returned against their will,” said Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.

    “Thai authorities should immediately halt any deportation, and either allow her to continue her travel to Australia or permit her to remain in Thailand to seek protection as a refugee.”

    The NGO cited several previous cases of Saudi women trying to flee their families only to face being forcibly returned.

    One of them, Dina Lasloom, was also stopped en route to Australia in 2017, and forced to return to Saudi Arabia. She hasn’t been publicly heard from since.

    Robertson said Thai authorities were spreading fake stories about Rahaf, citing one Thai immigration official’s remark to CNN in which he said Rahaf was denied entry into Thailand because she didn’t have the requisite documents.

    “She was transiting #Bangkok on her way to Australia and never intended to enter Thailand. This looks like Thai & #SaudiArabia playing games to me,” Robertson said in a tweet.

    “Once again we are seeing the abusive influence of Saudi authorities abroad as they seek to forcibly return Saudi women fleeing mistreatment and violence by their families,” said Page.

    “Apparently, Saudi authorities not only want to perpetuate systematic discrimination of women at home and prevent Saudi women from freely travelling abroad, but also ensure that those who manage to escape are forced back to a life of abuse.”

    In tweet, published just before 3:30 a.m. Monday morning Bangkok time, Rahaf said Saudi embassy officials threatened to “kidnap” her if she didn’t get on the flight to Kuwait.

    She later tweeted that she was going to be put on Kuwait Airlines flight 412, which is scheduled to depart Bangkok at 11:15 a.m. local time to Kuwait.

    The Saudi ambassador to Thailand denied Rahaf’s claims and Human Rights Watch’s reporting on the matter, however.

    Abdul-Ilah al-Shuaibi told Saudi state-aligned news outlet Sabq that Rahaf had been arrested by Thai authorities for violating laws there. He said Rahaf lacked a return ticket, hotel reservation or tourist itinerary in Thailand, meaning Thai authorities were compelled to deport her.

    He didn’t address her stated intention to travel to Australia.

    Al-Shuaibi said Rahaf had five or six sisters, and said it was “impossible” that only one of them would be abused to the point of fleeing.

    Sabq also reported that social media and news reporting on Rahaf’s case was full of “exaggeration and injustice.”

    Copies of her tweets here:

    https://q107.com/news/4820335/rahaf-...and-australia/
    Attached Images
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  2. #2
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    Her father and other family members told Saudi authorities she was mentally ill in a bid to have her returned, she added.
    This is a tactic other moslems also use. Their mental health facilities understand that anyone not embracing islam is mentally ill. Coming to a community near you, if they have their way.
    "Freedom is not something to be secured in any one moment of time. We must struggle to preserve it every day. And freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction."
    -Ronald Reagan

  3. #3
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    Well, she said the flight they were forcing her on was at 11:30 PM. It's now Monday morning and I'm not seeing any updates from her, so I have to assume they snatched her. Poor kid.





    5:40 AM

    Monday, January 7, 2019 (GMT+7)
    Time in Bangkok, Thailand


    *snip*

    Human Rights Watch’s Asia deputy director, Phil Robertson, criticised the actions of the Thai authorities. “What country allows diplomats to wander around the closed section of the airport and seize the passports of the passengers?” he said, adding there is “impunity” within the family unit in Saudi Arabia to abuse women.

    Surachate said Qunun would be sent back to Saudi Arabia by Monday morning. “It’s a family problem,” he said of the case.

    Another Saudi woman, Dina Ali Lasloom, was stopped in transit in the Philippines in April 2017 when she attempted to flee her family.

    An airline security official told activists that Lasloom, who was 24 at the time, was heard “screaming and begging for help” as men carried her “with duct tape on her mouth, feet and hands” at the airport.

    The Saudi embassy in Thailand and officials in Riyadh could not be reached for comment.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ed-repatriated
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  4. #4
    What country wants to get stuck with these problems?
    No good deed goes unpunished.

  5. #5
    the country didn't get stuck with the problem. they didn't just look away and not get involved (thus not being stuck with the problem), they actively cooperated with the saudi's.
    float like a butterfly...

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by hunybee View Post
    the country didn't get stuck with the problem. they didn't just look away and not get involved (thus not being stuck with the problem), they actively cooperated with the saudi's.
    A less powerful country against a much more powerful country (with a ruthless and brutal population). Thailand doesn't need that shitstorm. They don't need the reputation for granting safe refuge, either. And, they don't need the genetics most of these young women carry, like it or not.

    Sounds harsh. Shrug. It is what it is.

  7. #7
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    Reminds me of laws this country once had requiring escaped slaves to be returned to their owners.
    "Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we will all face the choice between what is right, and what is easy."
    Dumbledore to Harry Potter, Goblet of Fire.

    Luke 21:36

    A people who no longer recognize sin and evil, are not a people who will recognize tyranny and despotism either. Invar


    “During the course of your life you will find that things are not always fair. You will find that things happen to you that you do not deserve and that are not always warranted. But you have to put your head down and fight, fight, fight. Never, ever, ever give up!”

    - President Donald J. Trump

  8. #8
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    She's still in Thailand. She has barricaded herself in her room and made a plea for asylum.

    Read all the support under the little video:

    https://twitter.com/Reaproy/status/1082096485079048192
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  9. #9
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    Nour Sulaiman
    ‏ @legallynour

    Nour Sulaiman Retweeted جويس

    Saudi men are calling for her to be hung in a public square as a message to all Saudi women that also attempt to flee violence and the misogyny of Saudi Arabia. Rahaf is in real danger. She WILL be harmed if we don't prevent her forced deportation to Saudi Arabia. #SaveRahaf


    Read down:

    https://twitter.com/legallynour/stat...99778999951360
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  10. #10
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    So she got an Australian visa, but we all know she fully intended to come to the US.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faroe View Post
    A less powerful country against a much more powerful country (with a ruthless and brutal population). Thailand doesn't need that shitstorm. They don't need the reputation for granting safe refuge, either. And, they don't need the genetics most of these young women carry, like it or not.

    Sounds harsh. Shrug. It is what it is.
    Plus they have a lot of moslems. It's the second largest religion next to Buddhism 95%. Although only 5% moslem that amounts to close to 3 million. That's a lot of potential terrorists.

    The right group could get her out of the Thailand without a bloodbath. The Thai government would probably be glad to wash their hands of the problem. Right now they are damned if they do and damned if they don't.
    They will be a pariah if they turn her over, and will incur all kinds of crap if they don't.
    Far better to say, "We don't know how, but somehow she slipped through and got away.
    "When you're dead, you don't even know you're dead.
    It's difficult only for others.
    It's the same when you're stupid."

  12. #12
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    Mona Eltahawy Retweeted
    Rahaf Mohammed
    ‏ @rahaf84427714
    14m14 minutes ago

    I am Rahaf friend
    She gave us the account and it’s the Alert code 🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨
    She is being dragged to the airplane
    she will be deported to Kuwait now

    Help please


    Mona Eltahawy
    ‏Verified account @monaeltahawy
    13m13 minutes ago

    Mona Eltahawy Retweeted Rahaf Mohammed

    Rahaf’s friend is now tweeting on her behalf. They are trying to take @rahaf84427714 to the plane that will deport her to Kuwait
    #SaveRahaf

    https://twitter.com/monaeltahawy
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  13. #13
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    BreakingNAgency
    ‏ @BreakingNAgency
    5m5 minutes ago

    #BREAKING Media have reported that Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is refusing to the leave, while an official from Kuwait Airlines is at the door.

    (Photo: @Sophiemcneill)
    Attached Images
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  14. #14
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    Mona Eltahawy
    ‏Verified account @monaeltahawy

    I have been translating Rahaf’s videos & tweets and trying to help her because she deserves to be free and safe from danger.Her father is a governor in #Saudi Arabia. That means that he has muscle behind her family’s attempt to forcibly repatriate her. SHE IS IN DANGER #SaveRahaf
    Attached Images
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  15. #15
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    Mona Eltahawy
    ‏Verified account @monaeltahawy
    26s27 seconds ago

    Mona Eltahawy Retweeted Lemon

    “Rahaf is from Ha’el, from a tribal society, and we all know how Bedouin/tribes deal with cleansing honour with blood. Saying that she faces death is no exaggeration at all.” #SaveRahaf
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  16. #16
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    Mona Eltahawy Retweeted
    Queeniosity
    ‏ @Queeniosity
    8m8 minutes ago

    Queeniosity Retweeted Mona Eltahawy

    We are going to be voyeurs in this woman’s death. This world is beyond f*cked up. My god they’re sending her back to Kuwait!!
    😢. #SaveRahaf


    Mona Eltahawy
    ‏Verified account @monaeltahawy
    6m6 minutes ago

    Translation:“I didn’t know she was from here or from that family until today. I know them & by God they won’t leave her and she will be killed immediately. Post this but w/out my pic pls. You are not exaggerating. You are speaking the truth.I just hope for a miracle”
    #SaveRahaf
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  17. #17
    Poor poor child. I know what she faces if forced home.

  18. #18
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    Jon W. Kieran
    ‏ @jonwkieran
    42s43 seconds ago

    #Breaking: An illegal deportation happening in Bangkok.

    Canada must act — now — to ensure @rahaf84427714 is not forced to travel against her will.

    C’mon @JustinTrudeau: You’ve known about this for several hours.

    Take action!


    #SaveRahaf
    #HumanRights


    NY Times chimes in:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/06/w....co/lRKp4aNOJx


    Mona Eltahawy Retweeted
    Planet Jeanette
    ‏ @JeanetteSollen
    6m6 minutes ago

    @rahaf84427714 @monaeltahawy #SaveRahaf

    A formal application of asylum is now sent to the Swedish Embassy in Bangkok, also requsted and confirmed officially on the phone directly with them. I also pleaded the emergency and need for immidiate action. All I can do from here.
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  19. #19
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    Mona Eltahawy
    ‏Verified account @monaeltahawy
    1m1 minute ago

    The friend of @rahaf84427714’s who has been giving me updates tells me Rahaf is still in her hotel room. Hopefully that means that she will not be on the @KuwaitAirways flight scheduld to take off in about 7 Minutes according to http://FlightAware.com #SaveRahaf
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  20. #20
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    Mona Eltahawy
    ‏Verified account @monaeltahawy
    3m3 minutes ago

    I have deleted the tweets that Rahaf’s account posted about attempts to drag her to plane. Cautiously optimistic.
    #SaveRahaf


    Mona Eltahawy
    ‏Verified account @monaeltahawy
    3m3 minutes ago

    Mona Eltahawy Retweeted Rahaf Mohammed

    Rahaf’s friend says that Rahaf is still in her hotel room.
    #SaveRahaf


    Mona Eltahawy Retweeted
    Meandering Miranda
    ‏ @SmallTravels
    5m5 minutes ago
    Replying to @monaeltahawy @rahaf84427714 @KuwaitAirways

    That girl is strong. Stronger than she should have to be.


    Mona Eltahawy
    ‏Verified account @monaeltahawy
    1m1 minute ago

    In my messages with @rahaf84427714 I have urged her to be optimistic and steadfast. That is a lot for someone in her situation I know. #SaveRahaf


    If you remember Mona, she is an Egyptian journalist who tweeted a lot during Arab Spring. I used to post her stuff.
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  21. #21
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    Mona Eltahawy Retweeted
    Rahaf Mohammed
    ‏ @rahaf84427714
    27m27 minutes ago

    Rahaf is not asking for any money on go Fund me or any other website
    Please don’t waste your money
    If there’s such a thing it will be in this account



    Mona Eltahawy
    ‏Verified account @monaeltahawy
    4m4 minutes ago

    Mona Eltahawy Retweeted GermanAmbTHA

    From the German ambassador about @rahaf84427714 “We share the great concern for Rahaf Mohammed and are in touch with the Thai party and the embassies of the countries she approached.”
    #SaveRahaf


    Robert Rutledge
    ‏ @rerutled
    3m3 minutes ago

    The plane KU412 has taken off, and Rahaf is still in her hotel room! KU 412! https://flightaware.com/live/flight/...415Z/VTBS/OKBK … #SaveRahaf

    https://twitter.com/rerutled
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  22. #22
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    Mona Eltahawy
    ‏Verified account @monaeltahawy
    1m1 minute ago

    Let’s use this time to get a country to offer asylum to @rahaf84427714 - come on. #SaveRahaf #RahafAlQanun


    Mona Eltahawy Retweeted
    Nowayer
    ‏ @Nowayer2
    5m5 minutes ago

    Nowayer Retweeted Mona Eltahawy

    Grateful for your humanity @GermanAmbTHA
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  23. #23
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    I'll have to pick this back up tomorrow.
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  24. #24
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    A lot of the MSM is on this now -- CNN, BBC, etc. Also politicians.


    Mona Eltahawy Retweeted
    Jonathan Head
    ‏ @pakhead
    34m34 minutes ago

    Thailand’s immigration police chief Gen. ‘Big Joke’ Surachate has promised not to force @rahaf84427714 back to Kuwait and said the Thais believe her life is at risk if she does. Police trying to negotiate with her through her door now. She only wants to talk to the UN.



    Much more -- things are moving:


    https://twitter.com/monaeltahawy
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  25. #25
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    Mona Eltahawy Retweeted
    Mousa Al-Mosawy
    ‏ @Mousa_Mosawy
    13m13 minutes ago

    @monaeltahawy we must remember that a Middle Eastern woman (This happens all over MENA) had to travel, barricade herself in a hotel for 24 hrs, go viral, and ask for asylum in order to get basic rights. and we are STILL not sure.



    Mona Eltahawy
    ‏Verified account @monaeltahawy
    8m8 minutes ago

    Mona Eltahawy Retweeted Sophie McNeill

    To see Rahaf #SaveRahaf #RahafAlQanun
    Attached Images
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  26. #26
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    Yup. Deny islam and you die.


    Laura
    ‏ @rostowfske
    57s57 seconds ago

    Being detained and forced back to Saudi Arabia after she has disobeyed her parents and announced that she is an atheist means almost certain severe punishment and possible death. Please @Australiagov give her emergency travel documents to request asylum in Australia #SaveRahaf

    Mona Eltahawy Retweeted
    Mona Eltahawy
    ‏Verified account @monaeltahawy
    4h4 hours ago

    Mona Eltahawy Retweeted Robert Rutledge

    Thank you all media that have reported on @rahaf84427714 - I told her and her friend that the whole world is watching. Let’s keep supporting her. She has managed to not be deported to Kuwait. She’s in the hotel. Now let’s hope someone offers her asylum. #SaveRahaf #RahafAlQanun
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  27. #27
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    francois zimeray
    @francoiszimeray

    Lawyer - former Ambassador of France in charge of Human Rights - former French Ambassador to Denmark - Former Member European Parliament -


    francois zimeray
    ‏ @francoiszimeray
    7m7 minutes ago

    francois zimeray Retweeted francois zimeray

    High level contacts taken. Spoke again with her. Told her that she’s followed by numbers of Human Rights defenders in the world and should not loose hope and courage.
    Attached Images
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  28. #28
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    #SAVERAHAF
    ‏ @****saudii
    2m2 minutes ago

    The Saudi government continues to amuse me everyday since leaving that shithole, they really are sickf*cks with nothing better to do than follow innocent girls who’ve committed NO CRIME and attempt to kidnap them #SaveRahaf


    Zehra Zaidi
    ‏ @Zehra_Zaidi

    Zehra Zaidi Retweeted Michael Crick

    UK media and politicians picking this up now @monaeltahawy - more joining the protest outside Thai Embassy we arranged
    https://m.facebook.com/events/789192851419372
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  29. #29
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    Sophie McNeillVerified account
    @Sophiemcneill

    Reporter with ABC's @4corners Ex-Middle East correspondent @abcnews DMs open. Contact me on Signal + 61 419 190 187
    Sydney, New South Wales


    Sophie McNeill
    ‏Verified account @Sophiemcneill
    4m4 minutes ago

    UN has arrived. They are interviewing Rahaf. They gave their word that she would remain in their custody & that she is now safe. This is what they promised
    @UNHCRThailand @Reaproy @melissarfleming
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  30. #30
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    We shall see................ a lot of people did a lot of work.


    stevo
    ‏ @stevoo_A
    2m2 minutes ago

    stevo Retweeted Sophie McNeill

    Wow I think we did it people

    #Save_Rahaf
    #SaveRahaf


    Dean Mayes
    ‏ @Hambledown_Road
    46s46 seconds ago
    Replying to @sy26051425 @Sophiemcneill and

    Well...it is, but it is only a small step. There's a lot of ground to cover yet. I just want her to be moved out of harm's way. Thailand is probably not the best place for her to be right now.
    #SaveRahaf
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  31. #31
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    Mona Eltahawy Retweeted
    Sarah Alnemer!
    ‏ @AlnemerSara
    22m22 minutes ago

    let the world know that Saudi woman treat as a minor even if she in the 60’s, we cannot travel Without a permission of a man.. the law against us, we all RAHAF! This is our life👇🏽 not like lies that #MBS side!
    #SaveRahaf #StopEnslavingSaudiWomen


    Mona Eltahawy Retweeted
    Sarah Alnemer!
    ‏ @AlnemerSara
    11m11 minutes ago
    Replying to @Akram479416731 @sy26051425 and

    You know nothing about how Saudi woman suffering from domestic violence.. so shut the f*ck up
    Attached Images
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  32. #32
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    Everjoice Win
    ‏ @EverjoiceWin
    55s55 seconds ago
    Replying to @madziva_eleanor

    Just seen the story #SaveRahaf . So so heart-achingly familiar. Many years ago I arrived at the late Asma Jahangir’s offices after a powerful man had shot his own daughter to death. Honour killing. The police marking where she fell was still on the floor.


    Mohammed Ashi
    ‏ @AshiLive
    1m1 minute ago

    Twitter does have an effect on everything - things you put out there, they are out there for good. People have saved Rahaf! Such a great mission!
    #SaveRahaf #FreeRahaf


    #SAVERAHAF
    ‏ @honeyflavor1
    26s26 seconds ago
    Replying to @lord_gooner

    @monaeltahawy they're still threatening her mona
    💔💔 @monaeltahawy #saverahaf #freerahaf
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  33. #33
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    Mona Eltahawy Retweeted
    sanya burgess
    ‏Verified account @sanyaburgess
    7m7 minutes ago

    As things begin to look up for #SaveRahaf, a good time to revist @monaeltahawy's brilliant NYT piece from 2017



    Why Saudi Women Are Literally Living ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’


    By Mona Eltahawy

    May 24, 2017

    CAIRO — Just over a week after Dina Ali Lasloom, a 24-year-old Saudi Arabian, was dragged onto a plane from Manila to Riyadh with her mouth taped shut and her arms and legs bound, the United Nations voted to appoint Saudi Arabia to a four-year term on its Commission on the Status of Women. So much for the status of this Saudi woman.

    On April 10, the authorities at the Manila airport — her stopover in the Philippines between Kuwait, from where she’d escaped a forced marriage, and Australia, where she’d planned on applying for asylum — confiscated Ms. Lasloom’s passport and boarding pass to Sydney and held her at an airport hotel until her uncles arrived. When they did, they beat her and forcibly repatriated her.

    Saudi feminists believe Ms. Lasloom is being held at a women’s prison. She certainly was not present when Ivanka Trump told a group of Saudi women she met on Sunday that Saudi Arabia has made “encouraging” progress in empowering women. The round table discussion was led by Princess Reema Bint Bandar al-Saud, the vice president of Women’s Affairs at the General Sports Authority, a largely moot title in a country where girls and women are not allowed to participate in sports.

    In response, a Saudi woman called Ghada tweeted: “Ivanka Trump only met and saw some of chosen puppets who are from the royal or high class, and they don’t represent the majority of us!”

    Saudi women must be accustomed to seeing women who are protected by wealth and proximity to power exercise rights that the majority of them are denied. Such is the bargain: Ms. Trump’s father, President Donald Trump, sealed a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia during his visit to Riyadh. Meanwhile, the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates pledged to donate $100 million to a women’s fund proposed by Ms. Trump. During the election campaign, her father criticized the Clinton Foundation for accepting money from precisely those two countries, which he said “want women as slaves and to kill gays.”

    Selling out Saudi women is an old-established tradition. The day Ms. Lasloom landed in Riyadh, the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, also arrived in the Saudi capital for an official visit. Was the calculation that simple to make? Apparently so, since the freedom from abuse of one Saudi woman was worth sacrificing to curry favor with a country where 760,000 Filipinos work. Indeed, Saudi Arabia — the second-largest foreign employer of Filipinos — told Mr. Duterte it needed more Filipino workers.

    “As Saudi women, we are unfortunate enough to have rich and well-connected abusers in this corrupt world,” the lawyer and activist Moudi al-Johani told me. “The patriarchal and extreme Saudi mentality views women as property which belongs to the state and the family.”

    Within days of Ms. Lasloom’s coerced repatriation, another Saudi woman tried to escape an abusive family, this time within Saudi Arabia. Maryam Al-Otaibi managed to flee Qassim Province and hide in Riyadh, but the authorities arrested her and sent her back home, where she was then imprisoned. Ms. Al-Otaibi had tried to report her abusive brother to the police last year, but her family countered with a complaint of disobedience, an offense for women under Saudi law, for which she was briefly jailed and then returned to her family.

    Last week, Saudi activists circulated on social media a video of two young women, identified only as Ashwaq and Areej, apparently sisters, who said they were in Turkey and were in danger of being repatriated to Saudi Arabia, where they claimed they would face violence. Thanks to cases like theirs, a social media campaign by Saudi women with the hashtag #StopEnslavingSaudiWomen has gone viral.

    I recently met Ms. al-Johani, the lawyer, and another Saudi woman, Danah, in New York. They are the “lucky” ones who got away from abusive families. Ms. al-Johani said her family kept her locked up for eight months when she made a visit home during her studies in America. She has begun an application for asylum in the United States. Danah has decided to try to stay in the United States, too. One Saudi sociologist estimates that more than 1,000 women flee the kingdom every year, while more escape Riyadh for Jidda, the Red Sea city, which is considered more liberal than the capital.

    I was 15 when my family moved to Jidda from Britain in 1982. Living in Saudi Arabia was such a shock to my system that I like to say I was traumatized into feminism. The kingdom enforces a pervasive segregation of the sexes. It is the only country in the world that upholds a ban on women’s driving. And the country’s male guardianship system renders women perpetual minors, who need permission from a father, brother or even a son to travel, study, marry or gain access to government services. (A recent government order promises to relax such rules, but whether it is enforced effectively remains to be seen.)

    It is impossible to convey the lived reality of what is essentially gender apartheid. When I first read Margaret Atwood’s novel “The Handmaid’s Tale,” it was Saudi Arabia as I knew it that came to mind, not a dystopian future United States as in the new television adaptation. The Saudi-American poet Majda Gama told me she was unable to sleep after watching the main protagonist, Offred, played by Elisabeth Moss, in the opening episodes.

    “It raised thoughts I literally never tell my Caucasian friends because they wouldn’t understand,” she said, “because what Offred lived as some cautionary tale felt very much like my lived reality. One woman’s dystopia is another woman’s reality.”

    Ms. Atwood has famously said all the horrors she included in her 1985 book have actually happened in one place and at one time or another. As far as Saudi Arabia is concerned, many of them continue to happen. There is Offred being dragged back to the re-education center after she tried to escape with her friend, Moira. Here is Ms. Lasloom dragged onto a plane to Riyadh and into detention, where, activists say, only government officials and family members can contact her.

    “Most young Saudi women who are imprisoned there,” explained Hala al-Dosari, a women’s-rights campaigner, “are sentenced for morality-related charges such as being caught in the company of an unrelated male, being accused of running away from home by a male relative or being disobedient to parents.” The latter, she said, is treated as “a crime calling for immediate detention in Saudi Arabia.”

    Ms. al-Dosari published a petition, which more than 14,000 Saudi women signed last year, calling on King Salman to abolish the guardianship system completely.

    “Most horrific is that once a woman is locked in any state institution,” she said, “she won’t be released unless into the custody of a male relative or else she will stay in the prison or state shelter forever.”

    The system has deep historical roots in the kingdom. “My grandmother’s income was controlled, invested and portioned out to her by her sons,” Ms. Gama, the poet, said. “All very creepy and disturbing when you see the Caucasian Offred experience laws that reduce her to the kept property of her sympathetic and kind husband.

    “Luckily, my father was a sympathetic and kind guardian as Offred’s husband proves to be,” she recalled, “but all the kindness and laughter in the world cannot erase the fact this system is routinely abused.”

    Saudi Arabia isn’t just a conservative country with different values we shouldn’t judge. It is a modern Gilead.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/24/o...aids-tale.html


    Saudi women during a visit by Melania Trump in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, this month.CreditCreditHamad I Mohammed/Reuters
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    So when's the Revolution? God or Money? Choose.

  34. #34
    Her family has been humiliated beyond belief. They will stop at nothing to kill her now.
    Better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war.

  35. #35
    I've said before here. I knew a lady in Saudi who had embarrassed her family but her dad was quite fond of her and instead of killing her he had locked her up. She had been locked away for years and had gone crazy. If you went to the mothers home you could hear her wailing. She was stark raving mad and I tell you it was the most gut wrenching thing to listen to her. Her father should have killed her, would have been kinder.

    Saudi Arabia is a most horrid place for women and if you have a bad husband or father or son who is your guardian you would aspire to the life of a dog on a chain.

  36. #36
    Despite the terrible abuses of the system, there is such a thing as a "well-founded fear of persecution" which this woman has in my opinion; that means she should be granted refugee status, but under the UN charter there are a number of countries who could take her.

    To do otherwise, is to sentence her to death, possibly shown on public television; she's an apostate now by Islamic law and she will be executed if she is sent back.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  37. #37
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Between Holy & Crap
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    120,980
    Mona Eltahawy Retweeted
    Rahaf Mohammed رهف محمد القنون
    ‏ @rahaf84427714
    18m18 minutes ago

    I want to thank this great person @Sophiemcneill she stood and stayed with me in the room to protect me, I will never forget you😭❤️❤️ and thank u for the gift

    Danah
    ‏ @dndnma
    1h1 hour ago

    Because @monaeltahawy is the most hated women by saudi men right now I love her, she is my idol. I am trying to win that title Mona so watch out



    Mona Eltahawy
    ‏Verified account @monaeltahawy
    39m39 minutes ago

    Mona Eltahawy Retweeted Mona Eltahawy

    13hrs ago👇🏽we were terrified that Rahaf would be forced onto a plane en route Kuwait & Saudi Arabia where her was in danger. Now thanks to the MASSIVE FUSS we made, she is with UNHCR and safe,awaiting asylum. I just wrote to tell her I was happy she’s safe



    Mona Eltahawy
    ‏Verified account @monaeltahawy

    “#Thai authorities will allow 18-year-old Rahaf Alqunun into the country while the UNHCR processes her case after agency representatives were allowed to meet with her late Monday afternoon, according to Lt. Gen. Surachate Hakparn, immigration bureau chief”



    Mona Eltahawy
    ‏Verified account @monaeltahawy
    18m18 minutes ago

    A massive and special thanks to all #Saudi tweeps who alerted me about Rahaf and fought valiantly on here for her. I am in awe of you all. And special 🙏🏽 to @SarahRubyWrites and @Sophiemcneill who went over and above to help Rahaf. Love and solidarity ❤️✊🏽💜
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  38. #38
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Zippy Retweeted
    Zippy
    ‏ @princezip
    15m15 minutes ago

    #UN agrees to place #RahafAlQanun "under its care & process her for travel to another country, during which #Thailand will allow her entry to the country.

    UN asking countries to step up and offer this young lady protection

    #SaveRahaf


    Zippy Retweeted
    Zippy
    ‏ @princezip
    24m24 minutes ago

    #BREAKING :: #Latest Pictures out of #Thailand

    Rahaf is leaving #Bangkok Airport under United Nations care.
    Attached Images
    So when's the Revolution? God or Money? Choose.

  39. #39
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Florida
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    24,562
    Trump is missing a big opportunity in not making a public display of offering this woman asylum.
    It would deflate the specious charges libs are always making against him as being racist and hating moslems.
    Also I know of two groups here in the US who specialize in helping people trying to leave the moslem faith. One is Christian run and the other is Atheist run. The leaders of both groups are ex-moslems. They provide money and support in getting the person a new identity and fitting into American society and becoming a normal self supporting and independent member of western society. They have similar groups in the UK, but they aren't as good and their security has been breached several times.
    I hope the girl makes it through all this with her life.
    "When you're dead, you don't even know you're dead.
    It's difficult only for others.
    It's the same when you're stupid."

  40. #40
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    South of Valhalla
    Posts
    21,537
    Quote Originally Posted by TerryK View Post
    Trump is missing a big opportunity in not making a public display of offering this woman asylum.
    Asia Bibi, too...
    Deo adjuvante non timendum - With God Helping, Nothing is to be Feared
    "You are like a pit-bull..." - Dennis Olson
    "No man knows but that the last backward glance over his shoulder may be his last look, forever." - Ernie Pyle Born: 1900 KIA: 1945 Shima, Okinawa

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