SYDNEY (Daily Mail Australia) – Two sisters found dead in an apartment in Sydney, Australia earlier this month had fled Saudi Arabia, according to reports.
The bodies of the women, aged 23 and 24, were found in the flat in Canterbury, southwest Sydney on 7 June, police said.
They were found by officers conducting a welfare check after they had failed to pay a month’s rent and mail piled up at the front door. The women had been dead for “some time” when found, police reportedly said.
There were no signs of forced entry into the flat, and no signs of injury on the women, whose decaying bodies were found in separate bedrooms - but police said they were treating the death as suspicious.
The two had fled Saudi Arabia as teenagers in 2017. They led quiet lives in Sydney’s Canterbury suburb, and had friendly interactions with locals, according to reports.
To formally identify the bodies, police are trying to reach family in Saudi Arabia, but said it is proving difficult as they do not appear to be in regular contact with relatives.
There had been concerns about their welfare, with the women described as being “timid” and “standoffish” during a check by police months before their deaths, a source told the news outlet.
It is not clear why the women left Saudi Arabia, and authorities in Australia would not confirm to Daily Mail Australia if the women were seeking asylum.
In 2019, a report by the investigative journalism television show ‘Four Corners’ found that dozens of Saudi women had tried to seek asylum in Australia in recent years.
Many flee Saudi Arabia’s oppressive male guardianship laws, which allow their husbands, fathers, brothers, uncles and sons to effectively control their lives.
Saudi Arabia’s laws are by far the most draconian in reach and application, according to Human Rights Watch.