Runaway Saudi sisters leave Hong Kong for new country

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The Hong Kong-based lawyer for two Saudi sisters who fled the kingdom says the young women have secured emergency visas and departed to a new country of residence.

Lawyer Michael Vidler said in a statement on Monday that the sisters, ages 18 and 20, were granted emergency humanitarian visas after six months in Hong Kong.

Vidler says the two are now "beginning their lives as free young women." Their identities and new country of residence were not disclosed.

In the same statement, the sisters said they were thrilled to be able to restart their lives "free of violence and oppression."

Saudi female runaways are often fleeing abusive families and restrictive male guardianship laws. In January, Saudi teenager Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun's plight to escape her country captured global attention.