MEDIA ALERT 21/03 | SAUDI ASYLUM SEEKERS PROTEST FOR WOMEN’S AND HUMAN RIGHTS
Saudi women asylum seekers and their supporters will hold a protest in front of the Sydney Saudi Arabian consulate from 12.00 – 1.00pm, Friday 22 March, 89 York St, City. Saudi women will speak out at the protest.
The recent case of 18 year-old Saudi woman, Rahaf Mohammed Mutlaq Alqunun, who was detained in Thailand, on her way to seek asylum in Australia, has highlighted both the plight of women in Saudi Arabia, and their problems seeking asylum in the West.
Another 24-year-old Saudi women, Dina Ali Lasloom, also on her way to Australia for protection, was held in Manilla in 2017, until her family came to take her back. Dine feared she would be killed by her family if she was forced to return to Saudi Arabia. She has not been heard of since.
There are many Saudi women in Australia who have applied for protection visas. But the Australia government has left them waiting, in danger, for months and years.
It was the delay by the Australian government considering her case in January, that finally saw Rahaf being given protection in Canada. Rahaf and Dina cases reveal the life and death situation for Saudi women created by the oppressive and often violent male guardianship system that rules women’s lives.
In February, Saudi women also protested in at least two cities calling for the release of Saudi political prisoners being detained without charge. Some women protesters were in turn arrested at the protests.
“By delaying consideration of their protection visas, the Australian government is complicit in the persecution of Saudi women,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “The Saudi asylum seekers need an urgent response from the Australian government. The government also needs to be pro-active to defend women’s and human rights in Saudi Arabia.
“The Australian government is deeply implicated in arms deals with Saudi Arabia worth tens of millions of dollars, yet says nothing about that government’s violation of human rights. Saudi asylum seekers need protection now.”
For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713