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.
Noura, one of four friends tweeting from Ms Mohammed al-Qunun's account, told the BBC they knew each other from an online group for Saudi feminists, and that she herself had "escaped" Saudi Arabia because she is "an ex-Muslim".
In a statement, the Department of Home Affairs says it will consider the referral from the United Nations in the usual way.
In a short press release distributed to media outside its embassy in Bangkok Tuesday, the Saudi government said it had not demanded her deportation, adding the case is a "family affair", but under the "care and attention" of the embassy.
Thai authorities initially said Qunun would be sent back, but they abruptly changed course as the story pinballed across social media.
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. But as her desperate calls for help quickly attracted human rights campaigners and United Nations refugee staffers intervened, they promised not to deport her.
But a government source told The Australian the visa had not been revoked.
He said Qunun's father and brother were due to arrive soon in Bangkok, but it was her decision whether to meet with them.
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.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the Australian government has been urging the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to process her case quickly.
Her ordeal at the Bangkok airport riveted social media as she posted videos and constantly updated her followers while barricading herself in her hotel room. "She won't be sent anywhere tonight", Thailand's immigration police chief, Major General Surachate Hakparn, said at a news conference at the airport.
Qunun first gained global attention when she barricaded herself in a hotel at Suvarnabhumi airport after reportedly arriving in Thailand enroute to seek asylum in Australia.
"If she goes home it will be risky for her so Thailand is ready to help", General Surachate Hakparn, the head of Thailand's immigration police, told the media.
The Thai authorities obliged and detained Rahaf at an airport hotel until she could be deported back to Kuwait on Sunday. "We will not send anyone to die".
Saudi Arabia has some of the world's toughest restrictions on women, including a guardianship system that allows male family members to make decisions on behalf of female relatives.
She said she had asserted her independence, but had been forced to pray and wear a hijab and alleged she had been beaten by her brother.
While there has been a groundswell of support for Qunun to be granted refugee status and resettled in Australia, Peter Dutton, a hardliner in Australia's conservative government, said: "There is no special circumstance for anybody in this situation".
Alharbi mentioned the case of Dina Ali Lasloom, a 24-year-old Saudi woman who in April 2017 was returned to Saudi Arabia from the Philippines against her will and whose fate is unclear.
"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has not asked for her extradition".