Middle East

Saudi sisters who fled to Australia found dead in apartment

Two Saudi sisters, who fled the Kingdom five years ago, have been found dead in their apartment in Australia earlier this month.

According to the news outlet, Daily Mail Australia, the women – aged 23 and 24 – were found dead in their apartment in Sydney’s Canterbury suburb on 7 June by police, who were conducting a welfare check after the two failed to pay their monthly rent and mail piled up at their front door.

The sisters’ decaying bodies were found in separate rooms and they had been dead for “some time”. With no signs of forced entry into the apartment, violence, or injuries on their bodies, police believe they likely died naturally but were treating the deaths as suspicious.

After fleeing Saudi Arabia as teens in 2017, the sisters then reportedly lived quiet lives in their Sydney suburb. According to a source who spoke to the news outlet, however, they appeared to be “timid” and “standoffish” during a police check months before their deaths.

READ: Ex-Qatar Princess found dead in Spain home after reported drug overdose

The circumstances of their lives in Australia are unclear, with authorities not confirming whether they officially sought asylum in the country. Reports stated, though, that they been engaged with a refugee service which helps foreign nationals escaping persecution and seeking asylum.

There was also no clear motive or reason for anyone to harm them, and the only threatening instances they reportedly experienced consisted of their car having been keyed a few months before the police’s welfare checks and the older sister having taken out a restraining against a 28-year-old man in 2019. That restraining order was later withdrawn and dismissed, however.

In an effort to formally identify the bodies of the women, police have also been attempting to get in touch with their family in Saudi Arabia, which they said is difficult as the sisters were apparently not in regular contact with them.

READ: Amnesty urges Saudi Arabia to lift draconian travel bans targeting activists

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