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Two Saudi sisters flee the Kingdom and seek asylum

Two Saudi sisters Maha (L) and Wafa (R) [Twitter]
Two Saudi sisters Maha (L) and Wafa (R) [Twitter]

During their stay in Georgia, two Saudi sisters sought help, after running away from their family in Saudi Arabia, in the latest escape case from the Kingdom.

The two sisters Maha Al-Subaie, 28, and Wafa Al-Subaie, 25, launched a Twitter account on Wednesday under the username GeorgiaSisters. They claimed that they are at risk and would be killed if they were forced to return to Saudi Arabia.

“We are two Saudi sisters who have fled the kingdom and are seeking asylum, but our family and the Saudi government have cancelled our passports, and we are now trapped in Georgia,” Maha and Wafa said.

“We fled oppression from our family because the laws in Saudi Arabia are too weak to protect us,” the two sisters added.

The two young Saudi sisters mentioned that their father and brothers arrived in Georgia and were looking for them.

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“We are in danger. We need protection. We want a country that welcomes us and protects our rights,” Maha said in a video posted on their twitter account.

Several social media users interacted with the Saudi sisters’ plea and launched the hashtag #SaveSaudiSisters to gather support for their plea.

Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division, has indeed contacted them on their Twitter account.

“I have already sent an email to our Middle East & North Africa team, and also inquiring about who we have in Georgia,” Robertson mentioned.

The case of Maha and Wafa comes just a few months after the 18-year-old Saudi girl Rahaf Al-Qunun was granted asylum in Canada after resorting to Twitter to draw the world’s attention of to her plight and siege in one of Bangkok’s hotel rooms.

Al-Qunun used the Twitter platform to help prevent her deportation from Thailand when she was arrested on her way to Australia in January.

Al-Qunun fled from her family that she accused of mistreatment, during a trip to Kuwait and expressed concerns that her family would kill her if it managed to bring her back to the Kingdom.

There are currently more than a dozen activists in Saudi Arabia, some of whom are being tried on charges of their human rights work and communication with foreign journalists and diplomats.

Among those who are being tried, are human rights activist Loujain Al-Hathloul, university professor Hatoon Al-Fassi, blogger Eman Al-Nafjan and academic Aziza Al-Yousef, who is in her 60s.

Last week, the Saudi authorities prevented diplomats and Western media outlets from attending the trial of some activists, according to Reuters news agency,

Relatives of activists and human rights groups claim that some women had been held in solitary confinement for months and subjected to ill-treatment, including electric shocks, whipping, and sexual assault.

Thirty countries, including all the 28 member states of the European Union, as well as Canada and Australia, called to release the activists.

British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt and US Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo raised the issue of female activists detained by the Saudi authorities during their recent visit to the Kingdom.

The charges against Loujain Al-Hathloul include contacting 15 to 20 foreign journalists in Saudi Arabia, trying to apply for a job at the United Nations and attending digital privacy trainings.

Saudi-backed media outlets described the activists as “traitors” and “embassy agents”.

 

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