Australia gave its strongest hint yet on today that an 18-year-old Saudi woman in Bangkok would be granted humanitarian asylum, despite efforts by Riyadh and her family to force her return home.
Al-Qunun's plight unfolded on social media, drawing support from around the world, which convinced Thai authorities to back down from sending her back to Saudi Arabia.
"Any application by Ms al-Qunun for a humanitarian visa will be carefully considered once the UNHCR process has concluded", a Department of Home Affairs official told AFP news agency. Both countries have said she was stopped because she didn't have a return ticket, hotel reservation or itinerary with her upon arrival.
Ms Al-Qunun had planned to enter Australia on a tourist visa and seek asylum before she was detained by Thai authorities on Sunday.
However, for 24 hours this young rebel had barricaded herself inside a room at a Bangkok Airport hotel, completely at the mercy of Thai authorities, who seemed to be acting at the behest of Saudi authorities and wanted Rahaf deported back to Kuwait from where she had escaped.
Through her newly launched Twitter account, Rahaf has been calling on all several country to help her seek refugee status including the US, UK, Canada and Australia.
But a government source told The Australian the visa had not been revoked.
But she had only 24 followers and her first tweets went without being noticed until the BBC picked up the story.
Qunun's father and brother arrived in Bangkok on Tuesday evening and have asked to see her. Gen. Surachate Hakparn, told reporters Tuesday that Saudi diplomats told him they were satisfied with how her case had been handled.
Qunun has now more than 90,000 followers on Twitter, while a petition on Change.org asking to grant her asylum in Britain had reached more nearly 80,000 signatures by Tuesday evening.
Qunun, who expressed a desire to make an asylum claim alleged several times that Saudi officials were involved in seizing her passport.
A young Saudi woman is asking for Canada's help after tweets about her efforts to flee abuse and seek asylum overseas put her in the global spotlight. "This should be the standard for any individual who claims that his or her life is in danger".
"The father and brother want to go and talk to Rahaf but the United Nations will need to approve such talk", Surachate told reporters.
A Change.org petition to grant Qunun asylum in Britain has so far garnered more than 80,000 signatures.
Saudi Arabia enforces male guardianship laws, which require that women, regardless of age, have the consent of a male relative - usually a father or husband - to travel, obtain a passport or marry. And if all else failed and she was forced on the Kuwait Airways jet, an activist in India was ready with a "bomb scare" tweet to stop the flight from leaving.
"We are very grateful that the Thai authorities did not send back Ms. Al-qunun against her will and are extending protection for her", UNHCR Thailand country representative Giuseppe de Vicentiis was quoted as saying in a statement released on Tuesday morning.
The plan was originally to put the 18-year-old on a plane back to Kuwait on Monday, January 7.
We now know she is safe, in the care of the UN Human Rights Council in Bangkok awaiting a decision on her request for asylum in Australia or Canada.