Source: YouTube

On Monday, Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, the Saudi teen who fled the kingdom to seek asylum in Australia, was placed under the care of the United Nations.

According to BBCSurachate Hakparn, the head of Thailand's immigration police, confirmed al-Qunun was not going to be deported from the country and had "left the airport with the UNHCR". 

Over the weekend, Thai immigration officials tried sending the teen back to Kuwait after escaping while on a trip. However, she barricaded herself in a hotel room she was placed in and sent out social media posts asking the UN to save her.

After UN officials were granted access to the teen, they were able to assess her case and place her under protection. She will now remain in their care until she is granted asylum in a third country as she doesn't feel safe in Thailand.

If proven to be a genuine case, al-Qunun will be granted asylum in Australia under a "humanitarian visa," according to The New Daily.  

Before international pressure, Hakparn had announced that al-Qunun was going to be deported for not having a valid visa to enter Thailand.

In a statement to Sabq news site, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Thailand - Abdullah Al Shuaibi - also spoke out on the matter, saying the kingdom's embassy has no power to detain any citizen in an international airport. He added that al-Qunun was detained by Thai authorities and was to be deported because she violated the country's rules.

However, al-Qunun refuted the claims of both Thai and Saudi authorities. In a video posted on Twitter, she explained that she had a return ticket and hotel reservations in check, but that all her documents were confiscated by a Saudi diplomat who met her minutes after she landed in Thailand.

She also stated that she feared she would 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.

The ordeal unfolded in front of thousands on social media

In the past two days, al-Qunun's story gained momentum on social media, with thousands joining the discussion, including activists and human rights organizations. 

In a series of tweets, 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 explained she was left shocked after being told her father had followed her to Thailand but felt safe because UN officials were handling her case. 

Towards the end of her airport standoff, al-Qunun posted a tweet thanking ABC reporter Sophie McNeill who met her at Thailand's airport and stayed with her until UNHCR officials arrived at the scene. 

Many are relieved at the positive turn of events in the case

"There is hope after all"

"Strong women"

Al-Qunun still needs everyone's support

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.