BANGKOK (Reuters) - Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said on Thursday there was no timeframe for the assessment of the case of Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, a Saudi woman who fled to Thailand saying she feared her family would kill her.
The U.N. refugee agency has referred Qunun to Australia for consideration for refugee resettlement.
“Following the UNHCR referrals, Australia is now going through the steps we are required to do in relation to the assessment process and then when that is complete an announcement will be made,” Payne said in Bangkok, after arriving on a visit arranged before Qunun sought asylum.
Qunun is staying in a Bangkok hotel under the care of the UNHCR.
She arrived in Thailand on Saturday and was initially denied entry. She had been intending to fly from there to Australia to seek asylum.
She soon started posting messages on Twitter from the transit area of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport saying she had “escaped Kuwait” and her life would be in danger if forced to return to Saudi Arabia.
Within hours, a campaign sprang up, spread by a loose network of online activists, and the world watched as she refused to board a flight to Saudi Arabia and barricade herself inside a transit lounge hotel room.
On Monday evening, Thai authorities allowed her to enter the country.
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