Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun (C) accompanied by Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland (R) and Saba Abbas, general counsellor of COSTI refugee service agency, arrives at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Image Credit: Reuters

Manama: A Saudi human rights group said that it was shocked by how countries and international organisations incited young Saudi women offenders to rebel against the values of their families, encouraged them to leave their countries and then welcomed them under the pretext of granting them asylum.

“Such methods are politically motivated and are not humanitarian acts,” Mufleh Al Qahtani, head of the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) said in a press statement.

“These countries and organisations are reluctant to receive genuine refugees and even let them die at sea. What these countries and organisations are doing is incitement of girls who are still impressionable and cannot make sound decisions yet and pushing them to rebel against their families that provide them with lasting care and a decent life. I am afraid that some of them end up becoming lost or being used by traffickers in persons.”

Such attitudes by these states and organisations are an abuse of the rights of young girls to live with their families, he added.

“They could be seriously hurt and left to face the unknown. These countries should put an end to their attitudes that are politically motivated,” he said.

Girls and boys who face abuse within their families are entitled under Saudi laws to complain to the competent authorities and to human rights groups and let justice take its course, he added.

“Contact is so easy since these authorities and rights groups are only one phone call away. There are hotlines and anyone who feels abused can dial the numbers.”

Al Qahtani issued the statement on Sunday days after a Saudi teenager who fled to Bangkok reportedly to escape from her abusive family was granted asylum in Canada.

Saudi columnists insisted that the case was a purely family matter and should not take any extra dimension.

However, several Saudis complained that their country was being maliciously targeted again by international groups that used the case to heap heavy criticism on the Kingdom and reinforce negative stereotypes about Saudis.

“The NSHR condemns such attitudes that include an attack on the rights of the Saudi families that are severely harmed by the defamation campaigns following actions by their daughters,” Al Qahtani said.