Saudi woman, 18, detained at Thai airport, fears she will be killed if deported home

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A young Saudi woman who says she has fled her family in fear for her life has barricaded herself in her hotel room at Bangkok airport.

Thai immigration officials want to return Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, to Kuwait, where her family is.

She refused to board a flight to Kuwait City on Monday, despite officials stationed outside her room.

“My brothers and family and the Saudi embassy will be waiting for me in Kuwait,” the teenager told Reuters.

“They will kill me. My life is in danger. My family threatens to kill me for the most trivial things.”

Rights groups including Human Rights Watch have expressed grave concerns over Ms Mohammed al-Qunun’s welfare.

“She has barricaded herself in the room & says she will not leave” until she is allowed to meet the UN refugee agency and claim asylum, Human Rights Watch’s deputy Asia director Phil Robertson said on Twitter.

How did the stand-off start?

Ms Mohammed al-Qunun was on holiday with her family in Kuwait when she fled two days ago.

She was trying to head to Australia via a connecting flight in Bangkok.

A photo appeared of her in her room as officials reportedly stood outside, waiting to put her on a flight back to Kuwait.

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