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Australian minister in Thailand for asylum cases

ReutersBANGKOK (Reuters) — Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne was in Bangkok on Thursday after Canberra said it would consider giving asylum to an 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled to Thailand, saying she feared her family, whom she accused of abuse, would kill her.

Payne is also expected to discuss the case of a Bahraini footballer with Australian asylum status who has been jailed in Thailand and faces extradition back to Bahrain.

Saudi teen Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is currently staying in a Bangkok hotel under the care of the United Nations’ refugee agency (UNHCR), which has been processing her application for refugee status ahead of possible resettlement in Australia.

She has refused to meet her father and brother, who arrived in Bangkok this week to try to take her back to Saudi Arabia while denying accusations that her family was abusing her physically and emotionally, Thai authorities said.

Qunun was initially denied entry to Thailand when she arrived at the Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport on Saturday, intending to fly from there to Australia to seek asylum. She was later allowed to enter.Speech

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