Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, the young Saudi woman who drew the attention of the world after fleeing her family in Thailand, arrived Saturday morning at Toronto Airport where she was greeted by Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, AFP found .
"She has made a very long journey, she is exhausted and prefers not to answer any questions at the moment," Freeland told the many journalists who were waiting for the 18-year-old.
The Saudi woman says she wants to flee the psychological and physical abuse of her family and get asylum from the government of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
"She wanted the Canadians to see that she had arrived in Canada," Freeland said, taking the young woman's shoulder with a skirt, a "Canada" sweatcoat, a blue cap, and a big one. smile. The minister praised the courage & # 39; of the young Saudi woman, who welcomed them into & # 39; her new home & # 39 ;, Canada.
The arrival of the young woman in Canada marks the epilogue of a case that has drawn the world's attention for a week after the young woman made her situation public by creating a Twitter account.
She had been arrested when she arrived from Kuwait in Bangkok, where she had arrived with her family before she gave them up.
Thailand initially intended to return it to its country at the request of the Saudi authorities. But the young woman had barricaded herself in a hotel room at the airport, desperately posting messages on Twitter and posting a lot of messages and videos, and immediately gained international fame.
She also told Human Rights Watch that she wanted to abandon Islam, making her "in grave danger", the NGO said.
After a mobilization in her favor on social networks, the Thai authorities, who often recoiled at the border, had sent her back against her will and had allowed her to leave the airport with representatives of the United Nations. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
– Tensions between Ryad and Ottawa –
"I have no doubt that she will be quickly taken care of by the Canadian authorities and the NGOs, who will also take the necessary steps to enable her to resume her studies, which she says are interrupted by pressure from her. family, "said his French lawyer, François Zimeray, interviewed by AFP for the arrival of the young woman in Toronto.
After the announcement of his case, Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun was placed under the protection of the UNHCR in Thailand and an asylum application was submitted by this UN agency as a first step to several countries, including Australia.
On Friday afternoon, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that he had finally granted the asylum to the young woman.
"We have granted him asylum, because we like to do so because Canada is a country that recognizes the importance of maintaining human rights and women's rights around the world, and I can confirm that we have accepted the UN's request," Prime Minister to reporters shortly after the Thai authorities announced the departure of the young Saudi woman in Canada.
The decision of Canada can increase the tensions between Ryad and Ottawa. Saudi Arabia announced the expulsion of the Canadian ambassador in August, reminded him of it and froze new trade or investment with Canada, following Ottawa's denunciation of the arrest of Saudi human rights activists, including Samar Badaoui, sister of imprisoned blogger Raef Badaoui, whose wife and three children live in Quebec.
Saudi Arabia is one of the most restrictive countries in the world for the rights of women. In particular, they are subject to custody of a man (father, spouse, or other) who exercises arbitrary authority over them and takes important decisions in their place. The Qunun affair took on a special dimension after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.