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Trudeau said United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had asked Canada to take in Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, who grabbed worldwide attention this week after she barricaded herself in a Bangkok airport hotel room to resist being sent home to her family, which denies any abuse.

An 18-year-old Saudi girl, Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, who fled from her family in Kuwait to Thailand, has been granted asylum in Canada.

She barricaded herself in an airport hotel room where he social media campaign got enough public and diplomatic support that Thai officials admitted her temporarily under the protection of United Nations officials, who granted her refugee status Wednesday.

The 18-year-old, who was en route to Australia, was stopped by Saudi and Kuwaiti officials when she arrived at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport last Saturday, and her travel document forcibly taken from her.

The refugee boarded a Korean Air flight from Bangkok to Seoul late on Friday night before catching a connecting flight to Canada.

She barricaded herself in an airport hotel room and launched a social media campaign that drew global attention to her case. Until that happens, she is under the care of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Bangkok.

Canada's move is sure to further strain its relations with the Arab kingdom.

"It does get warmer", Freeland said she told her. Thai officials agreed to admit her temporarily under the protection of United Nations officials, who granted her refugee status on Wednesday. Last year, Saudi Arabia gave women the right to drive, but then arrested more than a dozen women activists who had pushed for the right, NPR's Deborah Amos reports. She is expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday morning.

"She chose Canada. It's her personal decision", he said.

Her deployment of social media allowed her to avoid the fate of countless other refugees who are quietly sent back home or left to languish in Bangkok detention centers.

The North American country criticised the rights record of Saudi Arabia in August, prompting Riyadh to expel the Canadian ambassador and sever all trade an investment ties in protest. It garnered enough public and diplomatic support to convince Thai officials to temporarily admit her under the protection of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, which later granted her refugee status.

Mr Surachate said her father and brother were due to return home on a flight today.

No country, including the USA, spoke out publicly in support of Canada in that spat with the Saudis. He said Qunun's father wanted his daughter back but respected her decision. However, the man did not show up, she said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will grant asylum to a Saudi woman fleeing alleged family abuse.

"He has 10 children". Alqunun's Twitter account - where she published videos and pleas for safety - has since gone dark.

Australia's Foreign Minister Marise Payne met with senior Thai officials in Bangkok on Thursday.


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