Can we guarantee the safety of those who flee Saudi Arabia? Do we even want to?

NSW Police released this image of Asra Abdullah Alsehli (left), 24, and Amaal Abdullah Alsehli (right), 23, after their bodies were found inside a unit in Canterbury in Sydney’s south-west (Image: NSW Police)

There’s a noticeable double standard around the handling of the lonely deaths of Asra Abdullah Alsehli and Amaal Abdullah Alsehli in a Canterbury flat earlier this year.

The lack of information from NSW Police — we still don’t know why the sisters died, for example; the political quiet around the case; the seeming drift of the case into the status of half-remembered mystery. Now we learn that their bodies have been returned to Saudi Arabia, with some mystery about when this occurred.

Can we guarantee the safety of those who flee Saudi Arabia? Do we even want to?

Saudi Arabia’s controversial new golf tour collides with reality

Read More >

If the sisters had sought asylum from Russia, Iran or China rather than Saudi Arabia, it would be very, very different: politicians would be demanding answers; the flow of information from police that accompanies high-profile cases would be steady and full; theories of Russian, Chinese or Iranian agents murdering people in Australia would be regularly aired. Instead, police have allowed a theory of “tragic suicide” to be filtered into the media.

With that, we seem to be being encouraged to forget about Asra and Amaal, two evidently frightened women who were hoping for sanctuary in Australia after fleeing one of the world’s most appalling regimes, who now join the list of women who end up dead when they try to escape a brutal, misogynist regime. All the more so because in Australia we’re accustomed to seeing asylum-seeking through the lens of the maritime arrivals conflagration, not the desperation of people being victimised by their own governments.

What we do know is that the Saudi regime has no respect either for basic human rights or for norms of international conduct. Like the Putin regime in Russia, it is perfectly happy to abduct, “disappear” or murder critics and dissenters abroad — in the case of Jamal Kashoggi, in an even more gruesome manner than Putin’s obsession with nerve agents. And its treatment of internal critics would make the Chinese blush: a woman sentenced to decades in jail for tweets; women sexually assaulted, tortured and murdered in Saudi prisons.

On this basis, suspicion of foul play must automatically fall on the Saudi regime in relation to the deaths of the sisters.

But what we also know is that Western governments, including our own, see Saudi crimes as an inconvenience in the broader relationship with a regime that wields substantial power over oil prices but which is also, now, a major source of potential investment, and which is allied to Western interests in its region.

The Morrison government was reluctantly forced to condemn the murder of Kashoggi in 2018 after international outrage made its silence on the matter untenable. In June last year, former foreign affairs minister Marise Payne was happy to announce a new ambassador to the kingdom, Mark Donovan.

Can we guarantee the safety of those who flee Saudi Arabia? Do we even want to?

Our government hopes we’ll forget about Saudi brutality

Read More >

“Australia has a strong and growing bilateral relationship with Saudi Arabia, with which we share economic ties and security interests,” Payne trilled. No mention of Saudi Arabia’s horrific war in Yemen, its ongoing war on women at home, or its murders abroad. Back to business as usual.

Perhaps the sisters’ deaths were indeed a “tragic suicide”, of young women lost and unhappy without family or anchors in an alien culture, especially in a city like Sydney where community bonds have been bulldozed along with the houses levelled to make way for apartment blocks. Or perhaps the prospect of failing in their asylum bid was too much. But without peddling conspiracy theories, Australians have reason to think not merely that the Saudi government was involved, but that our own governments have little incentive to examine that involvement too closely, and would prefer the women slipped from collective memory.

The lack of transparency around their deaths only serves to amplify this sense that something is deeply amiss. Presumably our intelligence services keep an eye on the actions of people connected to the Saudi government and embassy here. Has NSW Police spoken to them? So many questions.

More broadly, it’s strange that a country prepared to endanger its own economic interests to stand up to China isn’t prepared to be more vocal about a regime that, pound for pound, is even worse than Beijing. Especially when we know its disposition to murder those who displease or embarrass it. That’s why transparency about this case is crucial.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault or violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. For anyone seeking help for depression or suicide iteration, Lifeline is on 13 11 14 and Beyond Blue is 1300 22 4636. In an emergency, call 000.

NEWS RELATED

Omicidio Seriate, in Appello chiesto l'ergastolo per il marito di Gianna Del Gaudio

Omicidio Seriate, in Appello chiesto l’ergastolo per il marito di Gianna Del Gaudio Bergamo,7 ottobre 2022 – È attesa entro questa sera la sentenza della Corte d’Appello di Brescia presieduta da Giulio Deantoni per Antonio Tizzani, l’ex ferroviere accusato di aver ucciso la moglie Gianna Del Gaudio, professoressa in pensione, la ...

View more: Omicidio Seriate, in Appello chiesto l'ergastolo per il marito di Gianna Del Gaudio

"Un Emperador Romano": Claudio Bravo se gana nuevo apodo en España tras triunfazo del Betis ante la Roma en la UEFA Europa League

Claudio Bravo tuvo una tremenda presentación en la victoria del Betis ante la Roma en la Europa League. En España lo bautizaron como el nuevo “Emperador Romano” de los verdiblancos. Claudio Bravo vivió una jornada llena de gloria este jueves junto al Real Betis. El arquero chileno fue vital para que ...

View more: "Un Emperador Romano": Claudio Bravo se gana nuevo apodo en España tras triunfazo del Betis ante la Roma en la UEFA Europa League

Mercedes Classe A VS Audi A3, la sfida tedesca all'ultimo dato

copertina magica L’appena rinnovata Stella di Stoccarda sfida la compatta di Ingolstadt per motori, dimensioni, allestimenti e optional Il restyling di metà carriera della Mercedes Classe A è finalmente stato svelato, con nuovi fari dal design più importante, nuovi powertrain elettrificati e tanta tecnologia in più negli interni. Per ...

View more: Mercedes Classe A VS Audi A3, la sfida tedesca all'ultimo dato

Lucas Barrios se derrite por Claudio Borghi: "Gracias a él llegué a Colo Colo y no me va a alcanzar la vida para agradecérselos "

El ex delantero de Colo Colo, Lucas Barrios, solamente tuvo palabras de agradecimientos para Claudio Borghi, ex entrenador del Cacique. Lucas Barrios dejó una huella imborrable en el hincha de Colo Colo tras su primera etapa en el club, donde logró ser el goleador del mundo y el futbolista que ...

View more: Lucas Barrios se derrite por Claudio Borghi: "Gracias a él llegué a Colo Colo y no me va a alcanzar la vida para agradecérselos "

Claudio Bravo sacó aplausos de Dybala y Mourinho con sus grandes atajadas: “Estuvo genial varias veces”

Claudio Bravo fue una de las principales figuras en Real Betis durante el triunfo 2-1 ante la Roma, duelo que se robó las miradas este jueves en la UEFA Europa League.  El arquero chileno, titular en el arco “bético”, mostró toda su calidad y se lució con increíbles atajadas que ...

View more: Claudio Bravo sacó aplausos de Dybala y Mourinho con sus grandes atajadas: “Estuvo genial varias veces”

The Line: New York reimagined as a vertical city by Saudi Arabia’s Neom

A screengrab from a video posted on YouTube showing Manhattan reimagined with zero-gravity urbanism. Photo: Neom / YouTube New York’s Manhattan has been reimagined as a 34-square-kilometre vertical city, inspired by The Line at Saudi Arabia’s Neom. A video released by Neom shows the island of Manhattan being covered ...

View more: The Line: New York reimagined as a vertical city by Saudi Arabia’s Neom

El aplaudido gesto de Marcos Rojo durante incidentes en Gimnasia-Boca: ayudó a hinchas rivales

Graves incidentes se registraron en el duelo entre Gimnasia y Boca Juniors. Hace tan solo unas horas se vivió un capítulo oscuro en el fútbol argentino. Se registraron graves incidentes en el estadio de Gimnasia y Esgrima de la Plata, entre el local y Boca Juniors. Las desoladoras escenas ...

View more: El aplaudido gesto de Marcos Rojo durante incidentes en Gimnasia-Boca: ayudó a hinchas rivales

Claudio Borghi a corazón abierto revela inéditos detalles de su llegada a Colo Colo: "Ser campeón no estaba dentro de los planes"

Campeón del mundo con Argentina y tetracampeón con Colo Colo, Claudio Borghi se sentó a conversar con Bolavip Chile y recordó su inicio en el Cacique, donde reveló sabrosos e inéditos detalles diciendo que el título ante Universidad de Chile nunca estuvo en los planes. Hablar de Claudio Borghi en ...

View more: Claudio Borghi a corazón abierto revela inéditos detalles de su llegada a Colo Colo: "Ser campeón no estaba dentro de los planes"

Audi RS 4 Avant & RS 5: Κολασμένος ήχος και πιο σπορ χαρακτήρας

Paulo Dybala enloquece con el tapadón y llena de elogios a Claudio Bravo: “Estuvo genial varias veces”

Surat Hillary Brigitta Lasut Bikin Perusahaan Tambang di Sangihe Minta Audiens

Nio changes name of eSUV to avoid conflict with Audi

Audiencia Nacional española archiva causa contra el presidente de Iberdrola

Audi TT RS Coupe iconic edition, czyli pożegnanie z TT

Masterchef: la audiencia se cansa y pide el fin del programa por este motivo

The numbers behind Newcastle’s rise since Saudi takeover

Eddie Howe admits he'd given up on the Newcastle job when he found himself up against Unai Emery as he focuses solely on football as one-year anniversary of Saudi takeover brings more questions about morality

Leonardo corre, il riavvicinamento Germania-Arabia Saudita può valere 1 miliardo

Claudio Borghi desentierra mitos de la final entre Colo Colo y Universidad de Chile del Apertura 2006: "Algunos de nuestros jugadores no querían patear penales"

La nueva serie del creador de “Dahmer” que dejará aterrada a la audiencia

OTHER NEWS

Breaking thailand news, thai news, thailand news Verified News Story Network