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Old 9th Jan 2019, 03:37
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Gilles Hudicourt
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Montréal
Posts: 135
Rahaf Al-Qunun

Two evenings ago, I decided to check Twitter before going to bed and found a developing story about a young girl desperately tweeting for help. She was an 18 year old Saudi who had managed to flee the clutches of an abusing family while on a family trip to Kuwait and had purchased a ticket for Australia with a stop in Bangkok. When she landed in Bangkok, she was met by Saudi officials, Kuwait Airways employees and Thai Immigration, who had a sign with her name. Her passport was taken from her and she was told that she would not be allowed to pursue her journey to Australia, but would be sent back to Kuwait on the next flight, the following morning. They accused her of not having proper documents for enetering Thailand, which was not her intention. What they did not take was her phone. She created a Twitter account while at the Bangkok airport after locking herself in a transit room, and began to Tweet that she had renounced Islam, a crime punishable by death in her home country, and that she could be killed if deported. She claimed years of abuse at the hands of her family. I saw her Tweets when Ex British Diplomat Craig Murray, who has 55,000 followers, began to retweet her. I think George Galloway did as well. Within hours, Rahaf Mohammed, as she calls herself on Twitter (@rahaf844227714) had 40,000 followers. The New York Times, BBC and all major networks were covering her story.
She was told she would be forcibly deported on Kuwait Airways 412, on Jan 07, a few hours later, and everyone was calling for anyone to do what they could to prevent this.
Saudi Arabia has a very long arm and has a history of nabbing people overseas and taking them back to Saudi Arabia against their will, some never to be seen again. In 2017, a 24 year old Saudi Woman who had fled her family was nabbed by the Philippine authorities who detained her until her uncles came to the Philippines.

“A witness reported in The Australian, said she saw a woman being pulled out of a room with her mouth taped shut, and her body was wrapped in a sheet. This is assumed to have been done by her two uncles and a member of the Saudi Embassy. "They weren't Filipino. They looked Arab," Another woman, who declined to give her name told The Australian. A third witness claimed to have seen "A security officer and three middle eastern men doing this". She was later forced on a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight, the pilots and crew of which were reportedly aware and supportive of Dina being returned to Riyadh against her will, siding heavily with her uncles.”

So I decided to do my share, and retweeted her desperate pleas for help to several different people, to Kuwait Airways, to Thai Immigration, and because this was probably going to involve a woman being forcibly and illegally put on a commercial flight, Kuwait Airways 412, just a few hours later, I thought it might serve a purpose to post about it on PPRuNe, to alert the Aviation community of what was about to happen. Well she finally was not deported. The UN, which was flooded with calls about this lady, send representives to meet her at the Airport to evaluate her case as a refugee claimants. At the same time, both Thai authorities and Kuwait Airways official quickly became aware that this would not fly under the Radar, so she was allowed to stay, while her case was studied.

But PPRuNe mods did not wait for this outcome to delete my post. Sometimes I’m very embarrassed by the stance that people in my profession take with regards to certain world events.

Last edited by Gilles Hudicourt; 9th Jan 2019 at 12:35.
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