Saudi Arabia sisters who fled country claim family want them DEAD: 'They will kill us'

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Wafa, 25, and Maha Zayed al-Subaie, 28, escaped their homeland on April 1, fleeing to Turkey.

On April 16, they released a video, pleading for help from social media, and describing the abuse women face in Saudi Arabia.

Now living in Georgia, the sisters took off their niqabs, and talked openly about life in Saudi Arabia, but say this has made them a target.

With their family now knowing where they live, the “Georgia sisters” say they will be seen as having shamed their male relatives.

Speaking to Al-Monitor, Maha said: “If our family finds us, they will kill us.”

Saudi Arabia'Georgia Sisters'

ESCAPE: Two Saudi sisters fled increasing repression under Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, right (Pic: TWITTER/GEORGIASISTERS2/GETTY)

Saudi Arabia Georgia Sisters escape

DANGEROUS: Wafa and Maha Zayed al-Subaie, right, escaped earlier this month (Pic: TWITTER)

Saudi Arabia'Georgia Sisters'

DEATH THREATS: The pair said their family want them dead (Pic: TWITTER/GEORGIASISTERS2)

She said her and her sister had crossed “every red line” designed to keep women in check in Saudi Arabia.

They are now marked out as “aar”, or dishonour, to the family.

“We are now in a lot more danger than we were before,” Maha went on.

“Families learn repression from the government, and the government blesses their repression of whoever is under their custody.”

She said women who faced abuse at the hands of their family or husband had no protection.

“We are now in a lot more danger than we were before”

Maha Zayed al-Subaie

Instead, she claimed the woman would be jailed while her guardian would remain free, with her release only depending on his approval.

The pair, who lived in the southwest province of Ranya, flew out early in the morning from the Saudi capital Riyadh to Istanbul, Turkey.

They then took a second plane to the eastern city of Trabzon, where they hired a driver to take them to Georgia, where they could enter without a travel visa.

The sisters had to move quickly, as they feared their family would be alerted where they were through the controversial Absher phone app.

This app allows male Saudi citizens to control their family, by sending alerts when their dependents check-in at airports.

Maha said the sisters had been planning their escape since 2014, but one incident had pushed them over the edge.

The sisters’ dad had beaten Maha — who is divorced — in front of her eight-year-old son.

Her horrified son told her to call the police, but she said this would only make things worse.

“In abusive cases, the police will just ask the guardian to sign a paper pledging they would stop,” Maha explained.

The woman could then face more violence, or even imprisonment at the notorious “rehab facility” for Saudi girls, Dar El Re’aya.

Saudi Arabia'Georgia Sisters'

BRAVE: One of the pair’s most ‘outrageous’ acts was removing the Islamic niqab (Pic: TWITTER/GEORGIASISTERS2)

Saudi Arabia'Georgia Sisters'

RESCUE: Once in Turkey, they went to Georgia, where they didn’t need a travel visa (Pic: TWITTER/GEORGIASISTERS2)

Saudi Arabia'Georgia Sisters'

HELP: Now in Georgia, they have reached out to other activists and supporters (Pic: TWITTER/GEORGIASISTERS2)

After the sisters were unable to apply for a travel visa, they suspected the Saudi government had cancelled their passports.

The Saudi Embassy in Georgia denied this in a tweet on April 19, but the sisters still insisted: “We don’t trust the embassy”.

They are the latest women to try and flee the country, after a crackdown by authorities on activists, including women who broke the country’s laws on driving.

“Even political dissidents well known to be aggressive against the state were never detained or tortured the way the state treated these women,” said Saudi human rights activist and scholar Hala Al Dosari.

It comes after Saudi Arabia tortured and beheaded a man for sending a WhatsApp message.

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