UNHCR grants asylum to Saudi woman in elopement case

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Updated 25 November 2013
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UNHCR grants asylum to Saudi woman in elopement case

SANAA: Huda Al-Niran, a Saudi woman who eloped with her Yemeni suitor last month and crossed illegally into Yemen, heaved a sigh of relief on Sunday when the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees agreed to grant her asylum.
The UNHCR told Yemen media that the woman was given asylum on humanitarian grounds.
Al-Niran, 22, claims she escaped forced marriage in Saudi Arabia and came to Yemen illegally to marry her Yemeni suitor Arafat Mohammed Tahar.
As she pleaded her case to be able to stay and marry Tahar, 25, her supporters demonstrated outside the Sanaa courthouse, sporting headbands proclaiming “We are all Huda.”
In court, she refused to accept a lawyer provided by the Saudi Embassy, fearing pressure to return home.
But Huda did accept to be represented by a lawyer appointed by a Yemeni non-government organisation called Hood, who said he hoped for a favorable outcome.
"This is a humanitarian case, and must not raise tensions between the two countries," lawyer Abdel Rakib al-Qadi told AFP.
Tahar is also on trial for helping her to illegally cross the border.
Following the news of Huda’s asylum, activists announced that two local tribal leaders made donations to help the two tie the knot.


Turkey and US strongly deny sharing 'any audio recording'

Updated 19 October 2018
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Turkey and US strongly deny sharing 'any audio recording'

  • Secretary of State says report he had listened to a recording of Jamal Khashoggi’s death was false
  • Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also denied sharing any audio recordings with US officials

LONDON: Turkey and the United States denied on Friday that Ankara had shared with Washington an audio recording related to the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said an ABC News report, citing an unnamed source, that he had listened to a recording of Khashoggi’s death while in Istanbul on Wednesday was false. 

Pompeo, who also visited Saudi Arabia this week, said he had neither seen nor heard such a recording.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also denied sharing any audio recordings with US officials.

“It is out of the question for Turkey to give Pompeo or any other US official any audio recording,” Cavusoglu said during a visit to Tirana, Albania. “It is out of the question for us to share with any country this or that information.”

“Of course, as a result of the investigation so far, Turkey does have some information and evidence," he said. "We will share them with the world when they become fully clear because the whole world, understandably, wants to know what happened to Khashoggi and how it happened.”

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who lived in the US, disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to complete paperwork related to his divorce. 

Saudi Arabia and Turkey are carrying out a joint investigation into the disappearance.

On Thursday, Turkey called on the public to ignore any information claiming to be leaked from the case.

Since Khashoggi’s disappearance there has been a flurry of stories claiming to be based on leaks from the probe.

Pompeo said on Thursday they had given Saudi Arabia more time to complete the investigation to make sure they have a complete understanding of the facts.