Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Two Saudi sisters fleeing their family in Saudi Arabia have secured emergency visas and departed Hong Kong to a new country of residence, their lawyer said Monday.
It's the latest public incident of Saudi women fleeing the kingdom for safety and refuge abroad. In January, Saudi teenager Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun's plight to escape her family in Saudi Arabia captured global attention when she called for help via Twitter from an airport hotel room in Bangkok. She was quickly resettled in Canada by the UN refugee agency.
Lawyer Michael Vidler said in a statement that the sisters, ages 18 and 20, were granted emergency humanitarian visas after six months in Hong Kong. Vidler said the two are now "beginning their lives as free young women." Their identities and new country of residence were not disclosed.
The sisters were escaping alleged repeated beatings and abuse by their male relatives, according to the rights group Amnesty International. The young women have told media they escaped while on a family trip to Sri Lanka and had intended to seek asylum in Australia.
Their story echoes that of Alqunun, except that they have not disclosed their identities nor shown their faces.