'Let Her In': Topless Protesters Demand Saudi Teen Rahaf Al-Qunun Be Granted Asylum
Activists took to the streets of Sydney on Thursday urging the government to grant an 18-year-old Saudi woman asylum in Australia.
The five women stood topless in Sydney's Martin Place in support of teenager Rahaf Al-Qunun , who is fighting her forcible return to Saudi Arabia.
"It was a lot about expression. We are lucky in Australia, we can be topless and we can do it in a safe way, we are free," protest organiser and founder of Secret Sisterhood group Jacquie Love told 10 daily.
"But in Saudi Arabia woman can't do that and we really wanted to make a point."
The protesters from the group Secret Sisterhood went topless because they wanted to attract as much attention to Al-Qunun's cause as possible.
"We wanted to make the statement that women should be able to express themselves freely and safety as they can do in Australia," Love said.
Love also said it's important Australia supports Al-Qunun as she is fast becoming an international symbol for women's oppression and their fight for freedom.
"At the end of the day, she is becoming an icon for woman fleeing oppression and that is really important to have in the world."
The importance of Australia aiding the 18-year-old was also expressed by Senator Sarah Hanson-Young on Tuesday.
"This is an opportunity for Australia to do the right thing, for Australia to help a young woman in distress and in need of safety and protection," Hanson-Young told reporters.
Love, 24, started the women's activist group Secret Sisterhood nearly 18 months ago and since then women from all over the world, including in India, Dubai and the US have joined.
She started the group after travelling to India and learning of the experiences of women who have been victims of trafficking.
"That trip really opened my eyes to the experiences of women all over the world," Love said.
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) deemed Al-Qunun a genuine refugee on Wednesday and officially referred her case to Australia.
The Department Of Home Affairs confirmed this on Wednesday and said it would consider her case in the "usual way".
The Department's decision is yet to be announced.
Featured Image: Jacquie Love.
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