Trudeau says Canada has granted asylum to Saudi woman in Bangkok

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Trudeau says Canada has granted asylum to Saudi woman in Bangkok
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a town hall at University of Regina in Regina, Saskatchewan on Thursday January 10, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Bell

REGINA:  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada has granted asylum to a Saudi woman who fled alleged abuse by her family and was holed up in Thailand.

Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, who is 18, was stopped last Saturday at a Bangkok airport by immigration police who denied her entry and seized her passport.

She barricaded herself in an airport hotel room and launched a social media campaign that drew global attention to her case.

Trudeau says the United Nations High Commission on Refugees made a request of Canada that it take Alqunun as a refugee and Canada accepted as part of its commitment to stand up for women’s rights around the world.

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

Several female Saudis fleeing abuse by their families have been caught trying to seek asylum abroad in recent years and returned home.