The Saudi teenager fleeing her family has been thrown a lifeline by the Australian Government, which indicated it was likely to grant her a humanitarian visa.
Australian national broadcaster ABC reported that the country's Home Affairs Department announced late Tuesday that it would consider Alqunun's application for asylum if she was found to be a genuine refugee, and called on Thai authorities and UNHCR to assess her claim as quickly as possible.
Reports said it was a diplomat from the Saudi Embassy in Bangkok who seized her passport to prevent her travelling to Australia.
In an earlier and separate explanation released on Twitter, the embassy also denied sending officials to Suvarnabhumi airport to meet Qunun as she arrived or impounding her passport - as she alleged.
Thai officials had tried to force her take a flight to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia scheduled for the morning of January 7.
On Sunday Thai authorities said Qunun would be sent back to Saudi Arabia, but they abruptly changed course as her plight pinballed across social media.
"We would have hoped that you'd have confiscated her cell phone - it would have been preferable to taking her passport", Sheaibi said, eliciting timid laughter from the translator.
"We haven't heard from the Australian government yet about this, but if confirmed that would be quite shameful of the Australian government to cancel her visa knowing the threats that await her in Saudi Arabia", said Amnesty International's Middle East campaigns director Samah Hamid.
"Her dream might come true, we just have to wait and see", she said. "She didn't get that [social media] support and that's why she's in Saudi Arabia now - she's disappeared", Alharbi said.
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The season is going to get ugly, and the breakdown of alliances, including families, is a real possibility. To me, it feels like she was encouraged, perhaps in a heavy-handed manner, by Jon Snow .
After Alqunun barricaded herself in her Bangkok hotel room, her pleas for help over Twitter garnered tens of thousands of followers, and the attention of the UNHCR.
Alqunun arrived at the Thai capital's main airport on a flight from Kuwait over the weekend, after running away from her family, whom she says subjected her to physical and psychological abuse. People who convert to another religion from Islam risk being charged with apostasy - or abandoning their religious beliefs, which is legally punishable by death.
In a separate statement to Australia's The New Daily, the government said it is making a representation to the Thai government and UNHCR's office in Bangkok to assess Alqunun's claim "expeditiously". Once, she said, her family locked her up in a room for half a year because she cut her hair in a style they disliked.
"Al-Qunun says she doesn't want to meet with her father or brother".
Even though Thailand has at least 100,000 refugees within its borders, the country is not a signatory to the UNHRC and has no legal protection to those who seek asylum.
Dina Ali Lasloom, 24, was en route from Kuwait via the Philippines but was taken back to Saudi Arabia from Manila airport by her family.
Rahaf's posts immediately caused outcry on social media and attracted a flurry of responses.
Until recently, Alqunun had been living with her parents and six siblings in Ha'il, Saudi Arabia, where her father is a government official according to the Daily Mail.
In some cases, Saudi authorities were involved in forcing women to return to their families and in other cases, local authorities suspected the women of seeking asylum and deported them, the activist said.