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Saudi sisters’ tragic end in NY shows perils for runaways

November 11, 2018

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The deaths of two young Saudi sisters, whose bodies washed up along the New York City waterfront last month, have shined a light on the often secretive and risky journeys Saudi women take to flee their homes, both within the kingdom and abroad.

Under the kingdom’s guardianship system women must have the approval of a male relative — such as a father, husband, brother, or even a son — to marry, obtain a passport or travel.

If women who run away are caught, they can be pressured to return home or placed in shelters where often the only way out is to escape again. In some instances, they are jailed and only a male guardian can sign for their release.

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