Landed

CBC reports:

A Saudi teen who was granted asylum in Canada after fleeing from her allegedly abusive family has arrived in Canada.

Her flight from Seoul, South Korea, landed in Toronto a day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his government would accept 18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun as a refugee.

Al-Qunun, wearing a hoodie emblazoned with the word Canada, waved to reporters as she walked through Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, but did not comment on her arrival in Canada.

She was accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, who said al-Qunun will be going to her unspecified “new home.”

Yes, don’t specify it; we don’t want her father knowing where she is.

Chris Young/Canadian Press

Note UNHCR cap and CANADA hoody.

Trudeau announced Friday that the United Nations High Commission for Refugees asked Canada to take al-Qunun as a refugee, and Canada agreed.

“That is something that we are pleased to do because Canada is a country that understands how important it is to stand up for human rights, to stand up for women’s rights around the world,” Trudeau said.

But the move to accept al-Qunun could serve to heighten tensions between Canada and Saudi Arabia.

In August, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman expelled Canada’s ambassador and withdrew his own envoy after Freeland used Twitter to call for the release of women’s rights activists who had been arrested in the country.

A few months later he ordered the murder of Khashoggi. Tensions between Canada and Saudi Arabia are perhaps inevitable. Trump and his cronies are way too friendly to Saudi Arabia.

But Trudeau appeared unfazed by the possibility that the move could have ill effects, repeating that Canada stands up for human rights regardless of diplomatic consequences.

“This is part of a long tradition of Canada engaging constructively and positively in the world and working with our partners, allies and with the United Nations. And when the United Nations made a request of us that we grant Ms. al-Qunun asylum, we accepted,” he said.

Freeland echoed that sentiment in comments to reporters Saturday.

“It is absolutely the case that there are many women, far, far too many women, who are in dangerous situations both in Canada and around the world,” she said.

“But rather than cursing the darkness … I believe in lighting a single candle and, where we can save a single person, where we can save a single woman, that is a good thing to do.”

And Mohammed bin Salman can go take a flying jump.

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