She had been detained at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport since Saturday night but she refused to board a flight back to Kuwait to rejoin her family Monday. "This should be the standard for any individual who claims that his or her life is in danger".
"If she prefers to travel to Australia, we will coordinate with the (Australian) embassy for her".
"We are very grateful that the Thai authorities did not send back [Alqanun] against her will and are extending protection to her".
But he made an abrupt about-face the next day, following a global media frenzy as the young woman pleaded on Twitter for different countries to help her.
Thailand's immigration police chief met Tuesday with officials of the Saudi Embassy in Bangkok, and said the officials told him they are satisfied with how Alqunan's case has been handled. "I am 100 percent certain they will kill me as soon as I get out of the Saudi jail", she said.
Her pleas for asylum have also brought worldwide attention to the obstacles women face in Saudi Arabia under male guardianship laws, which require that women, regardless of their age, have the consent of a male relative - usually a father or husband - to travel, obtain a passport or marry.
"We won't do that, we will adhere to the human rights principles under the rule of law", he said.
The immigration police released photos of Surachate and his team sitting down with Saudi embassy charge d'affaires Abdulilah al-Shouaibi. She said the pair knew each other from an online group for Saudi feminists, and that she herself had "escaped" Saudi Arabia because she is "an ex-Muslim".
"Thai authorities have lied to me [.] They told me I can't ask for United Nations protection but they are not allowing United Nations to reach me [.] I think they are trying to get me to eat the food to drug /roofie me to ship me back to Kuwait", Alqunun wrote on Twitter Monday.
The UNHCR's representative in Thailand, Giuseppe de Vincentiis, told CNN on Tuesday that it was still assessing Rahaf Mohammed Al-Qunun's protection claims and it could take "several days to process the case and determine next steps".
Human Rights Watch earlier called on the Australian government to allow Alqunun's entry into that country, amid worries about her visa status. To avoid being deported on a Kuwait Airlines flight destined for Saudi Arabia, she barricaded herself inside the room and demanded to speak to the United Nations Refugee Agency.
"Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun fears for her life and is facing deportation to Saudi Arabia, but we can help".
Qunun said she planned to seek asylum in Australia, fearing she would be killed if repatriated by Thai immigration officials who stopped her at the airport.
Thai officials said it will be the teenager's decision on whether to see her father or not.
She has now be told she is allowed to stay in Thailand "under their care" and will not be sent anywhere against her wishes.
By travelling alone and asserting her independence, she has violated the Saudi "guardianship" system where by a woman is forbidden from travelling without a male - be that a father, husband, uncle, brother or son. Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun took to Twitter to share her story and urged people to help her survive.
Abuse by her family was one of the reasons Qunun cited for fleeing.