A legal office has filed a pro-bono case to help Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun out of detention, but the court has rejected the case due to lack of evidence.
On 7th January 2019, NSP Legal Office and the Human Rights Lawyers Association, with support from Human Rights Watch, filed a pro bono lawsuit with the Thai Criminal Court against the unlawful detention of Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, allegedly by Saudi officials.
NSP Legal Office states that on 5th January 2019, Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun took a flight to Australia, using Suvarnabhumi Airport as a transit point. But people claiming to be from the Saudi Arabian Embassy and Kuwait Airways intercepted her and took her to a hotel in the airport’s transit area.
NSP Legal Office in its Facebook post says that as Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun fears ill-treatment as a result of her religious convictions, she is protected under the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, to which Thailand is a State Party.
Requesting her safe passage to Australia, her desired destination, the petition cited Article 90 in Criminal Procedure Code on unlawful detention and argued that the case should be prosecuted.
However, the Criminal Court rejected the case claiming lack of evidence as the identity of the Saudi Arabian Embassy officials remained unclear. Meanwhile, Samah Hadid, Amnesty International’s Middle East Director of Campaigns has said: “The Thai authorities are bound by the general prohibition not to transfer persons to any place where they would face a real risk of serious human rights abuses.”