Saudi sisters seeking asylum in Republic of Georgia go public in plea for help

Maha Zayed al-Subaie 28, left, and her sister, 25-year-old Wafa, are photographed on April 18 during an interview with CNN, after applying for asylum in Georgia.

(CNN)Two Saudi sisters who planned their escape for almost five years and are now seeking asylum in the Republic of Georgia have revealed their identities in a plea for international help.

Wafa Zayed al-Subaie, 25, and her 28-year-old sister, Maha allege that they were trapped in their own homes and suffered verbal and physical abuse from their male relatives.
They are now in Tbilisi, Georgia, and after nearly two weeks of trying and failing to get asylum in another country, have gone public with their case.
    On Wednesday, the pair launched a Twitter account, appealing to human rights groups and countries where they might be able to seek asylum.
    "We are in danger we need your support to deliver our voice," Maha said in a video post. "We want protection we want a country to welcome us and protect our lives, please help us."
    The pair also posted photographs of their Saudi passports to prove their identity and in hope of bolstering their case. The sisters believed that their passports had been "suspended" when they attempted to apply for a visa to travel to Australia and received an error message.
    CNN has contacted the Consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul for comment on this specific case, but so far these queries have gone unanswered.
    State-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Friday that the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Georgia had acknowledged the names and presence of the women in the country, and refuted allegations that their passports were "canceled."

    'What is my crime?'

    A day after the sisters went public, Georgian law enforcement officers tracked them down and CNN witnessed the moment that the terrified sisters were questioned by police.
    The women told officers that they fled Saudi Arabia due to suffering abuse and feared for their lives if their family members found them and were able to forcibly deport them.
    Georgia's Internal Affairs Ministry then released a statement saying that the purpose of their visit "was to offer assistance and security guarantees," acknowledging the sister's fears and clarified that no other members of their family are in Georgia.
    By traveling independently, in a bid for more rights and to escape abusive conditions, however, the sisters may have committed a crime under Saudi's strict guardianship system. "I chose, fully willing and capable, to leave Saudi Arabia. I have committed no crime. What is my crime?" Wafa told CNN in Georgia.