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HRW Urges Turkey Not to Return Saudi Girls, Citing Risk of Harm

Human Rights Watch said on Friday that two Saudi girls who remain in police custody in Turkey are at risk and could face harm from family members if they return to Saudi Arabia against their own will.

“One of the sisters lost a challenge to her deportation in a Turkish court in December 2017 and is at immediate risk of deportation, while other’s case is still in process,” the watchdog said.

The sisters, Ashwaq Hamoud, 30, and Areej Hamoud, 28, fled Saudi Arabia in February of this year, escaping domestic violence from family members.

They ended up in detention when they applied for residency permits in Istanbul.

“Saudi women fleeing their family or the country can face so-called ‘honor’ violence or other serious harm if returned against their will,” Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.

“If Turkey returns these women, the consequences could be dire,” she said on the watchdog’s website.

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