Weekly media wrap - 14 January 2019

Rahaf al-Qunun, an 18-year-old Saudi refugee, was accepted for resettlement in Canada. The young woman was stopped by Thai authorities in Bangkok on her way to Australia, which had granted her a three-month tourist visa. She intended to seek asylum in Australia on the basis of a fear of persecution for her renunciation of Islam. After locking herself in her hotel room and pleas on social media, UNHCR was given access to al-Qunun and quickly declared her a refugee. UNHCR referred al-Qunun for resettlement to Australia. Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton said she would receive ‘no special treatment’, with the Labor party encouraging the government to resettle her. However, she ultimately accepted resettlement in Canada, flying from Bangkok to Toronto.

Malta agreed to allow two boats carrying 49 people rescued at sea to disembark after 18 days at sea. The two vessels, sailing under the German flag, had been denied access to European ports since December.