BuzzFeed News

Reporting To You

Saudi Teen Rahaf Al-Qunun Has Deactivated Her Twitter Account

The 18-year-old, declared a legitimate refugee by the UN, is said to have been receiving some “very nasty, very real death threats.”

Last updated on January 11, 2019, at 8:58 p.m. ET

Posted on January 11, 2019, at 8:46 a.m. ET

HRW / Phil Robertson / Twitter

The Saudi teenager who fled from her allegedly abusive family suspended her Twitter account because of death threats.

Rahaf al-Qunun, 18, caught the world’s attention when she live-tweeted barricading herself in a Thai hotel room to prevent being deported back to her family. She has been declared a legitimate refugee by the UN and boarded flight to Canada Friday after the country agreed to grant her asylum.

Qunun, whose account is also run by three other women, deactivated her Twitter suddenly earlier in the morning. Her last message said, “I have bad and good news!” Then the account disappeared.

Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch, who has been closely connected with Qunun’s case, said Qunun temporarily suspended her account because of some “very nasty, very real death threats.”

Rahaf temporarily suspended her #Twitter account because she has been receiving some very nasty, very real death threats. Not sure when she will resume, & think it depends on what @Twitter @Jack does about tracking & shutting down those accounts making these threats! #SaveRahaf

He said it was unclear when she would resume tweeting, and said it would depend on the actions of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

However, the account was back online as of Friday afternoon with a tweet about her flight to Canada, but because it's unverified, it remained unclear if it was being run by her.

#3rd country ✈️❤️❤️🍷 #i_did_it 💪🏼

One of Qunun’s friends who helps runs the account tweeted from her own account to say that the 18-year-old had received threats, and had shut it down as a result.

Rahaf received death threats and for this reason she closed her Twitter account , please save Rahaf life . #saverahaf

Hundreds of thousands of people have followed Qunun’s progress on Twitter and added to a huge social media movement calling for Australia to accept her as a refugee.

The teenager, who claimed that her family would kill her if she was sent back to her country, was eventually granted access to UN officials who assessed she had a legitimate claim for asylum. Canada eventually agreed to take her in.

A Twitter spokesperson told BuzzFeed News: “We don't comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons.”

ADVERTISEMENT