Thai officials say a young Saudi woman who was holed up in a Bangkok hotel room seeking asylum in Australia will be allowed to stay in Thailand while her case is evaluated by the United Nations refugee agency.
The young woman said she had been abused by her family and would be killed if she returns home.
Ms Qunun said by text and voice message from the hotel on Sunday: "My brothers and family and the Saudi embassy will be waiting for me in Kuwait".
"Thai authorities should immediately halt any deportation and either allow her to continue her travel to Australia or permit her to remain in Thailand to seek protection as a refugee", Human Rights Watch deputy Middle East director Michael Page said.
But when al-Qunun arrived in Thailand, she was stopped and her passport was taken from her.
She wrote of being in "real danger" if forced to return to her family under pressure from Saudi authorities and has claimed she could be killed.
"My family is strict and locked me in a room for six months just for cutting my hair".
Saudi Arabia's guardianship system requires women to have permission from a male relative to work, travel, marry and even get medical treatment in some cases. Alqunun had said that she feared for her life if she was returned to her family.
"We are very grateful that the Thai authorities did not send back (Qunun) against her will and are extending protection to her", he said.
"As of now, she does not wish to go back and we will not force her", he said on Monday.
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He has called on the Thai authorities and UNHCR to assess her claim as quickly as possible. Qunun then used social media to seek help from different countries.
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Because she did not have a visa to enter Thailand, he said police had denied her entry and were in the process of repatriating her through the same airline she had taken, Kuwait Airlines.
"They said we do not have enough evidence", she told Agence France-Presse, adding she planned to appeal.
"She has clearly stated that she has renounced Islam which also puts her at serious risk of prosecution by the Saudi Arabian government".
That tweet has already been retweeted and shared thousands of times, with her pleas for asylum having brought worldwide attention to the hardships facing millions of women in Saudi Arabia.
"She won't be sent anywhere tonight".
As per a New York Times article, Alqunun boarded a plane to Thailand while her family was on a holiday in Kuwait.
Thailand's immigration police chief says the father of the young Saudi woman who is trapped in Bangkok after being stopped en route to seeking asylum in Australia is supposed to arrive in Thailand on Monday night. They threaten to kill me and prevent me from continuing my education.
"They wanted me to pray and to wear a veil, and I didn't want to".
Saudi Arabia's embassy in Thailand denied reports that Riyadh had requested the extradition of the women.
If sent back, she said she would likely be imprisoned, and is "sure 100 percent" her family will kill her, she told AFP.
It also said her passport had not been impounded as alleged while explaining it is in contact with her father, a senior regional government official in the kingdom, "to inform him on her situation".