The Department of Home Affairs confirmed in a statement on Jan. 9 that the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees had referred Alqunun to Australia for consideration for refugee settlement.
Alqunun arrived in Bangkok on a flight from Kuwait on Jan. 5. After first being detained by Thai authorities, she refused to board a flight back to Kuwait, barricading herself in a hotel room. She publicized her case via social media, saying she feared for her safety if made to return home to her family.
She was later placed in the care of UNHCR workers while her bid for refugee status was considered.
Thai police say a Saudi woman who fled her family to seek asylum abroad has refused to meet with her father in Thailand.
Thailand’s immigration police chief says Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun’s father and brother arrived together in Bangkok on Jan. 8 but Alqunun has refused to meet them.