On Saturday, a young Saudi woman attempted to escape the kingdom via Kuwait Airport and took to Twitter in a bid to save her life. 

Speaking to BBC, the 18-year-old - now identified as Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun - said "she was on a trip to Kuwait with her family when she fled on a flight two days ago. She was trying to head to Australia via a connecting flight in Bangkok."

Upon landing in Thailand, she realized her family had notified the kingdom's embassies in both Kuwait and Thailand of her escape attempt. 

Though she has an Australian visa, her passport was seized by a Saudi diplomat who was waiting for her when she arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

She is currently being held in a Bangkok airport hotel and was meant to be put on a flight back to Kuwait this morning, but she remains self-imprisoned in the room, asking for help from the UN

"Thai authorities have lied to me"

In his statement on the matter, Thai policeman Maj Gen Surachate Hakparn said al-Qunun was going to be deported because she didn't have a valid visa to enter Thailand. The official also referred to the ordeal as a "family problem" and said he had no knowledge of anyone seizing the young woman's passport.

BBC's correspondent to Bangkok, Jonathan Head, explained that al-Qunun is "frightened and confused." Speaking to him, the young woman stated she fears she will be killed by her family if she is forcibly returned to the kingdom because she renounced Islam and made her escape attempt public on social media. 

"I shared my story and my pictures on social media and my father is so angry because I did this... I can't study and work in my country, so I want to be free and study and work as I want," she explained. 

Hours later, al-Qunun sent out a video in which she said she will barricade herself in her hotel room until she is allowed to see UNCHR officials to apply for asylum. 

Late on Sunday, Human Rights Watch issued a statement urging local authorities to "immediately halt the planned deportation" of the young woman. 

Al-Qunun now faces an unknown fate

In a series of tweets she posted online, al-Qunun said she decided to share her story on social media because she no longer had anything to lose. 

She posted videos from the airport and her hotel room in response to those who doubted her claims and pleaded with people to help prevent her repatriation to Saudi Arabia. 

In one tweet, the young woman wrote

"I have been detained in an airport hotel. I will be forcibly repatriated tomorrow to Kuwait and then Saudi. There is an airport person who constantly follows me. I can’t even ask for protection or asylum in Thailand. Thai police refuse to help me."

In another, she posted a photo of her passport captioning it: "I want you to know I'm real and exist."

Twenty hours into the ordeal, al-Qunun continued to tweet out to a rising number of followers. The 18-year old later said she will be handing her account over to close friends who will keep updating people on her situation.

Many responded to al-Qunun's pleas for help on Twitter

As the young woman continues to post live updates on her situation, thousands are sharing her story in hopes of making a difference. 

Tweeps launched the #SaveRahaf hashtag to get the story out

"We are living-breathing humans not objects"

"To think that this girl might be sent back to die is heartbreaking and inconceivable"

"This is why the guardianship system in Saudi Arabia must end"

Saudi authorities have since issued a statement on the case

In a statement to Sabq news site, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Thailand Abdullah Al Shuaibi said the embassy has no power to detain any citizen in an international airport. 

He also stated that al-Qunun was detained by Thai authorities and will soon be deported because she violated the country's rules. He then added that the embassy can't confirm if the young woman is a victim of abuse. 

"She didn't have a return ticket, nor a tourist visa or bookings. We are following up on the case but this isn't the first time someone is deported for these reasons," he explained. 

Al-Qanun has since refuted the embassy's statement saying she had booked a return ticket at Kuwait Airport and had also reserved a hotel room in Thailand. In a video she sent out, she explained the only reason she was denied entry to Thailand was because a representative of the kingdom's embassy in the country confiscated her return ticket and all evidence of her hotel bookings. 

"This is all a plot the embassy created to ensure that I am kept in this hotel room and deported back to Kuwait," she said. 

Not the first case of its kind to be reported in recent years

The details of al-Qanun's case resemble those of Dina Ali Lasloom, another young woman who attempted to escape an abusive family in Saudi Arabia. 

In April 2017, the 24-year-old woman was en route from Kuwait via the Philippines when she was taken back to Saudi Arabia from Manila airport by her family.

During her ordeal, she posted a video statement in which she pleaded for help and claimed her relatives had been abusing her. 

Despite her pleas, she was eventually repatriated to the kingdom. Activists are unsure what happened to Lasloom since she left with her family from the Philippines.