Canberra to decide Saudi's fate after United Nations refugee ruling

In this Monday Jan. 7 2019 image made from video released by Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun  Human Rights Watch Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun views her mobile phone as she sits barricaded in a hotel room at an international airport in Bangkok Thailand. Alqunun says

Saudi teen Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is now staying in a Bangkok hotel under the care of the United Nation's refugee agency (UNHCR), which has been processing her application for refugee status ahead of possible resettlement in Australia.

The Thai authorities' earlier willingness to return al-Qunun to Kuwait or Saudi Arabia could help her meet that standard.

Australia's Home Affairs Department said it would "consider this referral in the usual way, as it does with all UNHCR referrals".

Australia's Foreign Minister Marise Payne arrives in Bangkok on Thursday and has said she will push for Araibi's return to Australia.

"There are, as I have just said, a number of steps in the process, including in terms of that assessment", Ms Payne said. Thailand is ready to facilitate her travel to a country where she could be resettled, he added.

Now, in an exclusive interview with Daily Mail Australia, Rahaf has claimed her case has been successful - although the Australian government is yet to officially confirm this. "I do note that there are legal proceedings underway in relation to Mr.al-Araibi and Australia will continue to be in very close contact with Thai authorities in relation to this", she said. She said had been confined inside a hotel room at the airport, under the guard of men she said were from the Saudi embassy and Kuwait airlines.

"I think the most important thing is a young woman in these very very hard circumstances is supported appropriately through the United Nations processes and that countries like Australia who are in a position potentially to provide her with support are able to work from that point once those are finalised and determine what the next steps are", Ms Payne said.

"If, for any reason, it doesn't work out with Australia, then UNHCR would say okay, we will take the file back and refer it to another country". Khashoggi, who wrote critically of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in columns for The Washington Post, had been living in self-imposed exile before Saudi agents killed and dismembered him inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. "I think there are many cases like this that go unreported".

Turkish and U.S. officials have accused Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of orchestrating the killing - an allegation Saudi authorities categorically refute. She claimed her family abused her.

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'It was so bad.

"It would have been better if they had confiscated her mobile instead of her passport". She had said on social media she was afraid of such an encounter.

A branch of the British Broadcasting Corp. has quickly backtracked, deleted its social media comment, and tried to explain when listeners who heard a question it asked about a Muslim teen who fled her home reacted in outrage.

"We want to show the world, women can be free and safe and should be able to express ourselves freely and safely", Love said.

Because al-Qunun turned up in Thailand - which is not a signatory to the United Nations convention on refugees - settlement there was not an option, prompting the United Nations and other countries to step in.

But after she was initially denied entry into Thailand, her savvy use of Twitter sparked a massive campaign with calls from all over the world for her to be granted asylum.

As well as the Qunun case she is expected to discuss Hakeem al-Araibi, the Australian permanent resident who has been detained in Thailand for six weeks and fears deportation to Bahrain.

The ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia has come under fire since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the country's consulate in Istanbul previous year.

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