A Saudi diplomat joked that he wished Thai police had taken the phone of a teen who fled her family, not just her passport.
He made the joke in Arabic during a meeting on Tuesday with Thai immigration police, a video shows.
Rahaf al-Qunun launched a viral Twitter campaign asking for help, which resulted in the UN granting her refugee status.
The publicity from her message, where she said she fears being killed for renouncing Islam, changed Thai officials’ minds about deporting her.
The Australian government says it is considering granting al-Qunun asylum.
A Saudi Arabian official joked that Thailand should have confiscated the phone of a teen asylum seeker, who avoided deportation and was placed under UN protection after her posts went viral.
A video posted online shows a man — identified in local media as Saudi charge d’affaires Abdullah al-Shuaibi — noting the large audience Rahaf al-Qunun managed to find on social media.
He then jokes that Thailand’s immigration police ought to have taken her phone instead of taking her passport.
Without her ability to tweet, al-Qunun’s case would not have become a global news story. Thai officials only abandoned a plan to send her back to her family in Kuwait after her story started to spread, Reuters reported.
Here is the video:
“I wish they would’ve taken her phone instead of her passport” – Saudi Arabia’s Charge d’affairs, Bangkok Mr. al-Shuaibi
The #SaveRahaf movement changed everything
Rahaf’s bravery gives Saudi girls hope to seize their freedom & choose their own beliefs – The world has their back pic.twitter.com/fvM2nBKGFr
— Ex-Muslims of North America (@ExmuslimsOrg) January 8, 2019
INSIDER has verified the translation. Al-Shuaibi says: “So as soon as she arrived, she opened an account, and got about 45,000 followers in a single day.”
He added: “I wish they would’ve confiscated her phone …read more
Source:: Business Insider