Fearing death, runaway Saudi sisters appeal for world’s help

  • 5 months   ago
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Fearing death, runaway Saudi sisters appeal for world’s help

Two Saudi sisters took to Twitter on Wednesday to plead for international protection and a safe haven, saying their lives would be at risk if they went back to the conservative kingdom.

The women, in their 20s, said they had arrived in the former Soviet republic of Georgia and needed help from the international community to find a new country to call home. “We are in danger. We need your support to deliver our voice. We want protection. We want a country... (that) welcomes us and protects our rights. Please help us,” the pair wrote on a shared Twitter account named GeorgiaSisters.

The case is the latest to draw attention to Saudi Arabia’s strict social rules, which force women to obtain the permission of a male “guardian” if they want to work, marry or travel.

 

Rights groups say the system can trap women and girls as prisoners of abusive families, and the sisters are not the first Saudi women to seek urgent refuge outside their homeland.

The sisters, who identified themselves as Maha al-Subaie, 28, and Wafa al-Subaie, 25, posting photos of their passports online, said they were seeking protection from the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).

They initially said they had become stranded in Georgia after the Saudi government suspended their passports and that members of their family had come looking for them, but later retracted this version of events.

“We are confused,” they wrote. “We are terrified as (we’ve) never been before. Been crying all the time not knowing what’s next. We do not feel safe,” they said in a tweet that was later cancelled.

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