Listen: Thailand, UNHCR And Phil Robertson discussed on Morning Edition
"Saudi woman barricaded herself in an airport hotel in Bangkok were half. Muhammed Al Kunis eighteen years old. She's told Human Rights Watch that she's fleeing an abusive family. She reportedly flew to Thailand, then planned to fly onto Austrailia and seek asylum. But she told the AP that her passport was taken in Thailand. Phil Robertson is deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch. He's with me now on the line from Thailand. Good morning. Good morning. So this young woman was supposed to be put on a flight to Kuwait where her family is vacationing that did not happen this morning. So where do things stand for her right now? She's demanding that she be allowed to access the UN refugee agency UNHCR and that she's not going to go anywhere without that. And she is saying that she wants to apply apply for political asylum and she wants to ensure that whatever the decision you mix that Thailand respect it. So, you know, deathly afraid of going back to Saudi Arabia. He believes that if she does that she said multiple times chill killed and she has a long list of abuses that she suffered previously two point to to back that contention up. You've been talking to her what specifically is she saying about the abuse with an in her family? It was both psychological and physical abuse. The abuse included beatings included things like, you know, confining her for cutting her hair or for demanding of certain things that she wanted to do. She's also said very clearly that she is not enamored of Islam does not wanna wear job and does not want to go to pray. And so, of course, that puts her in very dangerous situation in Saudi Arabia, potentially with the government. In addition to a family hands probably the application for political asylum, which is less to do with family stuff and more to do with is this person endanger in their country. A what kind of spirits is? She in. She's she's determined. She's frankly, quite courageous, but she's tired and she's hungry. She's locked herself in this room since about eight thirty in the morning Bank off time. And so it is gen all day or deal, and it's been highs and lows there's been people at her door being people trying to trick her saying open the door Human Rights Watch open the door. It's UNHCR. You know, there's all sorts of games being played. And meanwhile, UNHCR's negotiate with the Thai authorities to allow them to access her and do their job to determine whether a refugee which brings us to big question. What is the government there in Bangkok saying, and what is the Saudi government saying at this point? Well, the Saudi government is trying to claim that they have nothing to do with this. And this is all somebody else is doing, but the reality is it was there who met the planes. You know, as she got off the plane and seized her passport. You know, why that official was allowed to walk around in a closed area of the Bangkok airport is beyond me. But that's happened for the ties. They're sort of changing their story. Now is as the pressure comes on the latest is that the immigration Commissioner says he's not going to send her back but previously he was saying, yes, it's the family member washing. So scared she should go back now. So you'll be keeping a close eye on this one. I imagined Phil Robertson deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch. Thank you so much. Thank you. The US trade war with China did not happen overnight, it reflects long-term concerns and developed over a number of months, but in farming terms, US tariffs and Chinese retaliation has come quite abruptly. China has targeted US soybean exports and the nature of the farm economy makes it harder for American farmers to adjust. They are preparing to plant more. Soybeans even though there are now too. Many of them harvest public media's metal and Beck explains. I'm in central Illinois in two hundred foot long."