Australia FM visits Thailand amid Saudi asylum seeker saga

Australia’s foreign minister Marise Payne met her Thai counterpart Thursday. (File/AFP)
Updated 10 January 2019

Australia FM visits Thailand amid Saudi asylum seeker saga

BANGKOK: Australia’s foreign minister Marise Payne met her Thai counterpart Thursday, as her country appeared poised to offer to asylum to a young Saudi woman who claims to have fled her family to Thailand because they subjected her to physical and psychological abuse.
Rahaf Mohammed Al-Qunun made a plea for asylum after landing at Bangkok airport, before later being placed “under the care” of the United Nations refugee agency, news agency AFP quoted a Thai official saying late Monday.
This was later confirmed by Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Thailand which also denied, in a tweet, that Riyadh had requested Al-Qunun’s extradition.
The 18-year-old said she had planned to seek asylum in Australia and feared she would be killed if repatriated by Thai immigration officials who stopped her during transit on Sunday.


Saudi Railway Company resumes work post-lockdown

Photo/SPA
Updated 9 min 27 sec ago

Saudi Railway Company resumes work post-lockdown

  • Saudi Railway Company asked customers to comply with anti-coronavirus measures at stations and while traveling

DAMMAM: The Saudi Railway Company (SAR) resumed its trips on Sunday morning following the easing of lockdown restrictions, with its first journey setting off from Riyadh to Dammam, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The lockdown, which started on March 21, saw a suspension of all travel between cities. Restrictions are being lifted in three phases.

On Sunday 143 passengers boarded the first train out of Riyadh amid strict precautionary and safety measures. The train passed through Hofuf and Abqaiq stations, with the return trip carrying 118 passengers.

Preventive measures and precautionary procedures include taking the temperature of passengers, ensuring they wear masks, and maintaining a safe distance between them.

SAR distributed seats according to approved standards to maintain a safe distance between people. Stations placed signs on the floor giving guidance and also displayed awareness messages.

SAR asked customers to comply with anti-coronavirus measures at stations and while traveling.

It emphasized the importance of continuing to comply with health measures and procedures in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.