Exclusive: Trolls impersonating Saudi teenage runaway spread false claims
Saudi teenager Rahaf Mohammed, who recently fled to Canada following a much-publicised ordeal, has come under attack from Saudi trolls attempting to impersonate her, she told The New Arab.
A Snapchat account claiming to be the 18-year-old recently emerged and began to post false statements that she wants to return to the kingdom.
Rahaf told The New Arab on Tuesday that she was not behind the account. "There are many fake accounts and they post bad things," she said.
The account, which is run by a Saudi man known to Rahaf, has claimed that she is regretful over her decision to escape what she said was physical and psychological abuse from her family.
"I want to return to my home country," the fake account said in one post.
"[I] want to see my sister - they block me. Feel trapped. Scared. Please share my snap code I want to go home - help me [Sic]".
In one post the account shared an image of what of a rolled cigarette with the caption: "Not happy so I smoke".
The teenager fled her family to Bangkok, barricaded herself in an airport hotel room and staved off deportation with her Twitter feed, ultimately gaining refuge in Canada on January 12.
Her emotional social media posts ignited a #SaveRahaf movement and prompted quick action.
Rahaf has been subjected to death threats from Saudi trolls, leading her to temporarily shut down her Twitter account.