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Pictures | Wed Jan 16, 2019 | 12:20am IST

Saudi teen granted Canadian asylum

Rahaf Mohammed speaks at the COSTI Corvetti Education Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada January 15, 2019. Mohammed, 18, was granted asylum in Canada after she barricaded herself in an airport hotel room in Thailand's capital Bangkok to avoid being sent home to her family due to fears of being harmed or killed. The family denies any abuse.

REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Rahaf Mohammed speaks at the COSTI Corvetti Education Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada January 15, 2019. Mohammed, 18, was granted asylum in Canada after she barricaded herself in an airport hotel room in Thailand's capital Bangkok to avoid being...more

Rahaf Mohammed speaks at the COSTI Corvetti Education Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada January 15, 2019. Mohammed, 18, was granted asylum in Canada after she barricaded herself in an airport hotel room in Thailand's capital Bangkok to avoid being sent home to her family due to fears of being harmed or killed. The family denies any abuse. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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Rahaf Mohammed speaks in Toronto, Canada January 15, 2019. Mohammed, who has renounced her family name al-Qunun, gave a public statement in Toronto that was read on her behalf in English by a settlement worker. "I understand that everyone here and around the world wishes me well and would like to continue to hear about how I am doing, but ... I would like to start living a normal private life, just like any other young woman living in Canada," she said in the statement read by Saba Abbas.

REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Rahaf Mohammed speaks in Toronto, Canada January 15, 2019. Mohammed, who has renounced her family name al-Qunun, gave a public statement in Toronto that was read on her behalf in English by a settlement worker. "I understand that everyone here and...more

Rahaf Mohammed speaks in Toronto, Canada January 15, 2019. Mohammed, who has renounced her family name al-Qunun, gave a public statement in Toronto that was read on her behalf in English by a settlement worker. "I understand that everyone here and around the world wishes me well and would like to continue to hear about how I am doing, but ... I would like to start living a normal private life, just like any other young woman living in Canada," she said in the statement read by Saba Abbas. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun (C), accompanied by Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland (R) and Saba Abbas, general counsellor of COSTI refugee service agency, arrives at Toronto Pearson International Airport, January 12, 2019. She arrived in Toronto after being granted asylum in Canada, where Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland welcomed her as a brave new Canadian.

REUTERS/Carlos Osorio

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun (C), accompanied by Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland (R) and Saba Abbas, general counsellor of COSTI refugee service agency, arrives at Toronto Pearson International Airport, January 12, 2019. She arrived...more

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun (C), accompanied by Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland (R) and Saba Abbas, general counsellor of COSTI refugee service agency, arrives at Toronto Pearson International Airport, January 12, 2019. She arrived in Toronto after being granted asylum in Canada, where Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland welcomed her as a brave new Canadian. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio
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Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is greeted by Thai immigration authorities at a hotel inside Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand January 7, 2019. Several days after arriving in Canada, Mohammed thanked the Canadian and Thai governments and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for making her move to Canada possible. "I am one of the lucky ones," she said. "I know that there are unlucky women who disappeared after trying to escape or who could not do anything to change their reality."

Thailand Immigration Police via REUTERS

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is greeted by Thai immigration authorities at a hotel inside Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand January 7, 2019. Several days after arriving in Canada, Mohammed thanked the Canadian and Thai governments and the United...more

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is greeted by Thai immigration authorities at a hotel inside Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand January 7, 2019. Several days after arriving in Canada, Mohammed thanked the Canadian and Thai governments and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for making her move to Canada possible. "I am one of the lucky ones," she said. "I know that there are unlucky women who disappeared after trying to escape or who could not do anything to change their reality." Thailand Immigration Police via REUTERS
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Qunun arrived at Toronto's Pearson International Airport on Saturday morning, wearing a hoodie emblazoned with the word Canada in red, and a blue cap with the logo of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which has granted her refugee status.

REUTERS/Carlos Osorio

Qunun arrived at Toronto's Pearson International Airport on Saturday morning, wearing a hoodie emblazoned with the word Canada in red, and a blue cap with the logo of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which has granted her...more

Qunun arrived at Toronto's Pearson International Airport on Saturday morning, wearing a hoodie emblazoned with the word Canada in red, and a blue cap with the logo of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which has granted her refugee status. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio
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In her last tweet before leaving for Toronto, Qunun said, "I did it," and posted pictures from inside an airplane.

Twitter/@rahaf84427714/via REUTERS

In her last tweet before leaving for Toronto, Qunun said, "I did it," and posted pictures from inside an airplane. Twitter/@rahaf84427714/via REUTERS

In her last tweet before leaving for Toronto, Qunun said, "I did it," and posted pictures from inside an airplane. Twitter/@rahaf84427714/via REUTERS
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Amid multiple threats online to her safety, the Toronto refugee agency that is helping her has hired a security guard to ensure "she is never alone" as she starts a normal life, said Mario Calla, executive director of Costi. The agency has hired a security guard and plans to "make sure she is never alone," Calla told reporters. "It's hard to say how serious these threats are. We're taking them seriously."

REUTERS/Carlos Osorio

Amid multiple threats online to her safety, the Toronto refugee agency that is helping her has hired a security guard to ensure "she is never alone" as she starts a normal life, said Mario Calla, executive director of Costi. The agency has hired a...more

Amid multiple threats online to her safety, the Toronto refugee agency that is helping her has hired a security guard to ensure "she is never alone" as she starts a normal life, said Mario Calla, executive director of Costi. The agency has hired a security guard and plans to "make sure she is never alone," Calla told reporters. "It's hard to say how serious these threats are. We're taking them seriously." REUTERS/Carlos Osorio
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Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is seen in Bangkok, Thailand January 7, 2019 in this still image taken from a social media video. Qunun, who had initially intended to seek asylum in Australia, chose Canada instead because Australia took too long assessing whether to grant her asylum. "(Australia) takes too long. That's why I went to Canada," she told Reuters in a direct message before boarding her flight to Toronto. Qunun took a Korean Air flight from Bangkok to Seoul on Friday and then a connecting flight to Toronto.

TWITTER/ @rahaf84427714/via REUTERS

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is seen in Bangkok, Thailand January 7, 2019 in this still image taken from a social media video. Qunun, who had initially intended to seek asylum in Australia, chose Canada instead because Australia took too long assessing...more

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is seen in Bangkok, Thailand January 7, 2019 in this still image taken from a social media video. Qunun, who had initially intended to seek asylum in Australia, chose Canada instead because Australia took too long assessing whether to grant her asylum. "(Australia) takes too long. That's why I went to Canada," she told Reuters in a direct message before boarding her flight to Toronto. Qunun took a Korean Air flight from Bangkok to Seoul on Friday and then a connecting flight to Toronto. TWITTER/ @rahaf84427714/via REUTERS
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Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun walks with Thai immigration authorities at a hotel inside Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand January 7, 2019. Canada's decision to grant asylum to Qunun comes at a delicate time. Relations between Ottawa and Riyadh have been tense after Canada demanded the immediate release of jailed rights activists last year, infuriating Saudi Arabia who retaliated by freezing new trade with Ottawa.

Thailand Immigration Police via REUTERS

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun walks with Thai immigration authorities at a hotel inside Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand January 7, 2019. Canada's decision to grant asylum to Qunun comes at a delicate time. Relations between Ottawa and Riyadh have...more

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun walks with Thai immigration authorities at a hotel inside Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand January 7, 2019. Canada's decision to grant asylum to Qunun comes at a delicate time. Relations between Ottawa and Riyadh have been tense after Canada demanded the immediate release of jailed rights activists last year, infuriating Saudi Arabia who retaliated by freezing new trade with Ottawa. Thailand Immigration Police via REUTERS
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Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun (C) arrives at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Canada. Her case has drawn global attention to Saudi Arabia's strict social rules, including a requirement that women have the permission of a male "guardian" to travel, which rights groups say can trap women and girls as prisoners of abusive families.

REUTERS/Carlos Osorio

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun (C) arrives at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Canada. Her case has drawn global attention to Saudi Arabia's strict social rules, including a requirement that women have the permission of a male "guardian" to...more

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun (C) arrives at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Canada. Her case has drawn global attention to Saudi Arabia's strict social rules, including a requirement that women have the permission of a male "guardian" to travel, which rights groups say can trap women and girls as prisoners of abusive families. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio
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Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is seen in a plane in an unknown location after she was granted asylum in Canada. Qunun arrived in Bangkok a week ago and was initially denied entry. But she soon started posting messages on Twitter from the transit area of Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport saying she had "escaped Kuwait" and her life would be in danger if forced to return to Saudi Arabia. Within hours, a campaign sprang up dubbed #SaveRahaf, spread on Twitter by a loose network of activists.

Twitter/@rahaf84427714/via REUTERS

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is seen in a plane in an unknown location after she was granted asylum in Canada. Qunun arrived in Bangkok a week ago and was initially denied entry. But she soon started posting messages on Twitter from the transit area of...more

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is seen in a plane in an unknown location after she was granted asylum in Canada. Qunun arrived in Bangkok a week ago and was initially denied entry. But she soon started posting messages on Twitter from the transit area of Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport saying she had "escaped Kuwait" and her life would be in danger if forced to return to Saudi Arabia. Within hours, a campaign sprang up dubbed #SaveRahaf, spread on Twitter by a loose network of activists. Twitter/@rahaf84427714/via REUTERS
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Following a 48-hour stand-off at Bangkok airport, some of it barricaded in a transit lounge hotel room, she was allowed to enter the country and was processed as a refugee by the UNHCR. 

REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Following a 48-hour stand-off at Bangkok airport, some of it barricaded in a transit lounge hotel room, she was allowed to enter the country and was processed as a refugee by the UNHCR. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Following a 48-hour stand-off at Bangkok airport, some of it barricaded in a transit lounge hotel room, she was allowed to enter the country and was processed as a refugee by the UNHCR. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
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Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is seen with Thai immigration authorities at a hotel inside Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand January 7, 2019. Thailand Immigration Police via REUTERS

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is seen with Thai immigration authorities at a hotel inside Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand January 7, 2019. Thailand Immigration Police via REUTERS

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is seen with Thai immigration authorities at a hotel inside Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand January 7, 2019. Thailand Immigration Police via REUTERS
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Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is pictured in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) building Bangkok, Thailand, January 11, 2019, before leaving for the airport after she was granted asylum in Canada. Khaled Ibrahim/UNHCR/Handout via REUTERS

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is pictured in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) building Bangkok, Thailand, January 11, 2019, before leaving for the airport after she was granted asylum in Canada. Khaled Ibrahim/UNHCR/Handout via...more

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is pictured in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) building Bangkok, Thailand, January 11, 2019, before leaving for the airport after she was granted asylum in Canada. Khaled Ibrahim/UNHCR/Handout via REUTERS
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Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun walks accompanied by UNHCR members and Thai immigration authorities outside Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand January 7, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun walks accompanied by UNHCR members and Thai immigration authorities outside Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand January 7, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun walks accompanied by UNHCR members and Thai immigration authorities outside Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand January 7, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer
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Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is seen in this this picture obtained from social media January 9, 2019. TWITTER @RAHAF84427714/ via REUTERS

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is seen in this this picture obtained from social media January 9, 2019. TWITTER @RAHAF84427714/ via REUTERS

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is seen in this this picture obtained from social media January 9, 2019. TWITTER @RAHAF84427714/ via REUTERS
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Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is shown in this undated photo. @rahaf84427714/via REUTERS

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is shown in this undated photo. @rahaf84427714/via REUTERS

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is shown in this undated photo. @rahaf84427714/via REUTERS
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