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CBC The Passionate Eye (2019.02.09) Breaking Free: Rahaf's Escape to Canada

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CBC-ThePassionateEye.20190209.BreakingFree-RahafsEscapeToCanada.1280x720.mp4 44m9s 1280x720 AVC AAC


"My name is Rahaf Mohammed. I'm 18 years old... They have my passport and tomorrow they will force me to go back...It was a voice of desperation, an urgent SOS to the world. A Saudi teenager, trapped in transit, on the run from her family and the Saudi state.

Within hours #saverahaf lit up social media and set off global headlines.

Australian reporter, Sophie McNeill, flew to Bangkok, slipped past security and joined Rahaf al-Qunun as the young woman barricaded herself inside the room.

"An official...has just knocked on the door and tried to get Rahaf to leave, she's refused... they've tried all sorts of ways of enticing her out of the room." Sophie McNeill, reporter.

Breaking Free: Rahaf’s Escape to Canada reveals how the extraordinary events unfolded, using exclusive previously unseen video recorded by both Sophie McNeill and Rahaf herself. The program captures moments of high tension, despair and eventual jubilation when Rahaf is offered asylum in Canada.

MORE: ‘It may not happen again’: A Saudi teen’s escape to Canada could make it more dangerous for others

Rahaf is one of the lucky ones; not every woman gains her freedom. This dramatic investigation reveals the stories of other women who have attempted to escape the oppressive Saudi regime. Not everyone makes it. And, the program shows the tactics used and the pressure applied to try to stop these young women.

Those lucky enough to make it to countries like Australia say they are still at risk. The investigation has uncovered multiple cases of Saudi women in Australia, living in fear, telling reporter Sophie McNeill of the attempts to intimidate or trick them into returning them home.

ALSO WATCH: Escape from Dubai: Mystery of the Missing Princess