The bodies of two Saudi asylum seekers – found dead in their apartment in Sydney’s west in June – have been repatriated to Saudi Arabia, the country the sisters fled seeking protection in Australia.
The police investigation into the deaths of Asra Abdullah Alsehli, 24, and Amaal Abdullah Alsehli, 23, continues, and officers have repeated their calls for any public information. Police have confirmed they do not know the cause of the sisters’ deaths.
understands their bodies were repatriated sometime last week, and they were buried according to Islamic traditions.
While the family has remained publicly silent, it is also understood the women’s parents have remained in contact with New South Wales police.
Asra and Amaal were found in their beds in their apartment on Canterbury Road, Canterbury on 7 June.
There were no signs of forced entry at their home, nor any injuries to their bodies. It is believed the sisters had been dead for over a month when they were found. Their deaths were “suspicious in nature in that we don’t know the cause of death”, Detective Inspector Claudia Allcroft said.
The sisters were both seeking asylum in Australia: each had an active claim for asylum ongoing with the Department of Home Affairs and had engaged with settlement services providers in Sydney.
The basis of one sister’s claim for protection included a fear of persecution in Saudi Arabia based on her sexuality: her sister’s linked claim was based on her own fear of persecution.
Government sources have confirmed the sisters, who arrived in Australia in 2017, had had their claim for protection initially refused at the departmental level, but were not at the end of the asylum process. Still open to them was a full merits review before the administrative appeals tribunal, appeals to the federal court, and an application for ministerial review.
They had valid visas and were not facing removal from Australia.
When the sisters’ deaths were discovered, their family did not travel to Australia to claim their bodies, instead delegating authority to the Saudi consulate in Sydney.
NSW police confirmed that the sisters’ bodies had since been repatriated to Saudi Arabia.