"My name is Rahaf Mohammed. I'm 18 years old... They have my passport and tomorrow they will force me to go back...Please help me. They will kill me." Rahaf al-Qunun.

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
 

 

Credits (Click to expand)

reporter

SOPHIE MCNEILL

producers

SHARON O’NEILL

MARY FALLON

editor

MICHAEL NETTLESHIP

assistant editor

JAMES COGSWELL

camera

LOUIE EROGLU ACS

JOHN MEES

sound

ANDREW TIMLIN

additional camera

ZIYUAN WANG

DAVID LELAND

LIAM COCHRANE

additional sound

RICHARD MCDERMOTT

archive producers

MICHELLE BADDILEY

MICHAEL OSMOND

designer

PETA BORMANN

digital producer

BRIGID ANDERSEN

social media

TIM WILFORD

digital designer

GEORGINA PIPER

legal

ROSS DUNCAN

JENNIFER ARNUP

publicity

JILLIAN REEVES

promotions

RICHARD MARTIN

sound mixer

EVAN HORTON

colourist

SIMON BRAZZALOTTO

post production

JAMES COGSWELL

additional vision

GETTY IMAGES   

AAP IMAGES  

REUTERS  

APTN

RAHAF MOHAMMED

MEAGHAN KHAN

UNIVERSITY OF OREGAN   

FAHAD ALBUTAIRI  

set designer

LEIGH TIERNEY

theme music

RICK TURK

titles

LODI KRAMER

technical producer

JONATHAN MORTLOCK

lighting director

TONY WALDRON

make-up

JULIETTE FLANAGAN

studio wardrobe

MARIA PETROZZI

studio director

JANET ARGALL

program assistant

SAMUEL DUNN

production manager

WENDY PURCHASE

supervising producer

MORAG RAMSAY

executive producer

SALLY NEIGHBOUR

Produced by Four Corners

for Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2019