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-   -   Are Her Fears Legitimate? (https://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/617072-her-fears-legitimate.html)

Gilles Hudicourt 9th Jan 2019 02:37

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.

Anilv 9th Jan 2019 06:42

Hi Gilles,

I saw your initial post and the gist of the responses was basically 'what can be achieved?'.

Personally your post was the first I heard of this (I'm in Malaysia) and this prompted me to check FB and share the relevant posts within my circle of friends. I'm not saying I would not have heard of this otherwise but I can understand your point that there was not much time to get people to act on this before it became too late.

My personal thanks for highlighting this as religion (belief or non-belief) should not be an issue in this day and age.


Dan_Brown 9th Jan 2019 08:32

Are Her Fears Legitimate?
What sort of "logic"would drive a "loving family" To carry out, what she fears.


A question requiring a simple response. Are this lot bound by Fear or Love?

denachtenmai 9th Jan 2019 08:48

The "logic" of the religion of peace

VP959 9th Jan 2019 08:53

As I understand it she has publicly renounced Islam, and that is an offence that may carry a death sentence in Saudi Arabia. She seems well-educated, and says she is seeking further education, so I doubt she was unaware of her countries laws regarding the renouncement of Islam. Seems to me she went into this with her eyes wide open, almost certainly never intended to return to Saudi once she'd boarded the flight to Australia and it looks like a combination of poor judgement on her part (in letting people know she had renounced Islam before she was somewhere safe) and misfortune that the Thai authorities collaborated with Saudi authorities, or her family, to prevent her continuing her onward flight to Australia.

I would say her fears are very legitimate. There are reports of a similar case where the girl involved was taken back to Saudi and seems to have disappeared. We've seen relatively recently how Saudi Arabia treats citizens who speak out against their laws - the Khashoggi case springs to mind. Now she has been declared a refugee she may be safe, for a time, but I suspect that her family are unlikely to just let her go and make a life in a new country without further action, so she may well never be safe.

Dan_Brown 9th Jan 2019 09:44

"....so she may well never be safe"

Unfortunately, she will never be safe and will be looking over her shoulder for the rest of her life.

"If they treat their own family, in this manner, how the hell will they treat the rest of us when (not if) they feel the need??

racedo 9th Jan 2019 11:07

Kudos to the OP :D

Guess she is lucky MBS didn't send a Welcome Home committee like they did to Khasoggi.

Countrys snatch their people from abroad and claim they can because their laws allow them to do what they want should make them International pariahs. Sadly Western media turn a blind eye on it as their paymasters which are same countrys demand it.

Western media claim it is against censorship but then amazingly will only allow propoganda from their paymasters while silencing any viewpoint different to that. Even when state funded propoganda arms are exposed the media still do nothing. Willing accomplices all.

Effluent Man 9th Jan 2019 11:14

As Frankie Boyle observed the extent to which they will go is to send the Saudis a strongly worded arms invoice.

Gilles Hudicourt 9th Jan 2019 11:40

This happened in 2017, in Manila, Philippines


Gilles Hudicourt 9th Jan 2019 11:45

Then, the is the case of the daughter of the ruler of the UAE who tried to flee her family in a sailboat. She was seized by an Indian military commando and forcibly returned to the UAE where she is living recluse in a medicated state, her family claiming she is mentally disturbed.


flash8 9th Jan 2019 12:02

"....so she may well never be safe"

Unfortunately, she will never be safe and will be looking over her shoulder for the rest of her life.

"If they treat their own family, in this manner, how the hell will they treat the rest of us when (not if) they feel the need??
More to the point is that now if somebody leaves the KSA and renounces Islam, in the Western world at least (perhaps not the US though) it is unlikely they will be sent back, a good thing.

BehindBlueEyes 9th Jan 2019 12:20

The West shouldn’t forget this either. And this was a member of their own royal family.


Fitter2 9th Jan 2019 14:01

Meanwhile, on the British Broadcasting Corporation website:


Words fail me.

PDR1 9th Jan 2019 14:34

Well they failed someone, because the words in red are not present or justified by anything the BBC has said. More Fake Facts from the usual suspects?


G-CPTN 9th Jan 2019 16:04

Ignoring the 'female situation' in her own country, what is the age of majority?
Is she legally stil a 'child'?

VP959 9th Jan 2019 16:22

Originally Posted by G-CPTN (Post 10356171)
Ignoring the 'female situation' in her own country, what is the age of majority?
Is she legally stil a 'child'?

It used to be the onset of puberty, up to a maximum age of 15, but it seems to have been changed now to 18, I believe, so my guess is that she may have waited until she was 18 before trying to get away.

er340790 9th Jan 2019 16:26

Interesting that her requested countries for asylum were UK, Canada, USA and Australia.

I wonder what those four have in common????? :confused:

RatherBeFlying 9th Jan 2019 16:27

In KSA her family can kill her without legal consequences if done to protect the family's "honor". She wouldn't be the first:mad:

flash8 9th Jan 2019 17:30

Ignoring the 'female situation' in her own country, what is the age of majority?
Is she legally stil a 'child'?
In certain countries (you know which ones) being a child means f--- all in way of protections. There is no real rule of law... none. Imagine for example the child abuse/murder statistics for a country like Pakistan*... they don't bear thinking about.

*and then multiply them by 10 for the real number.

Dan_Brown 9th Jan 2019 17:34


Correct. Never happened in a man's Navy though.

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