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Saudi lady held at Bangkok airport says fears death if repatriated

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[Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun in an airport hotel room. photo/ courtesy]

A Saudi woman held at Bangkok airport is fearing for her life if she gets repatriated by Thai immigration officials, who confirmed the woman was denied entry to the country Sunday.

Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, 18, said she was stopped by Saudi and Kuwaiti officials when she arrived in Suvarnabhumi airport and her travel document was forcibly taken from her.

Alqunun on Monday shared photos of herself on Twitter barricaded into the airport hotel room where she has been held since her arrival the previous day, as officials and police gathered outside the door to take her to a plane that would return her to Kuwait.

Alqunun appealed for the UN’s refugee agency to help her.

“I’m not leaving my room until I see UNHCR,” she said in a video posted on Twitter. “I want asylum.”

“They took my passport,” she said, adding that her male guardian had reported her for traveling “without his permission”.

Rahaf, said she was trying to flee her family, who subjected her to physical and psychological abuse.