Monday, November 25, 2013

Saudi Woman Who Elopes To Yemen Granted Asylum By UNHCR

It's not often you hear good news from the Middle East regarding star-crossed lovers. Usually one or the other- or both- wind up getting killed by family members. In this case, at least for now, it turned out happily for a Saudi woman and her Yemeni fiance'. Huda Abdullah Al Niran was betrothed to someone else as part of an arranged marriage, so she escaped to Yemen so she could marry her boyfriend Arafat. In fact two tribal leaders in Yemen helped them get married, including providing a house, and furniture for a bedroom for the couple.

However, things still could turn out badly since Huda is being charged with illegal entry into Yemen. Activists have protested, and she has now been granted asylum (at her request) by the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which means that she can't be deported Not sure why UNHCR has anything to do with Yemen's granting asylum to the young woman, but according to an official the reason they did so was that she "could face torture or even death if she returned as tribal norms dictate in such cases."

Arafat is also being charged with helping Huda enter the country illegally, however his lawyer  claims that since he arrived at the border nine hours after Huda, technically he did not commit a crime.

She'll find out her fate on Tuesday.

Source: Gulf News

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