Saudi Arabia denies link to death of two sisters in US

RIYADH (AA) – Saudi Arabia has denied any link to the death of two Saudi sisters studying the United States.

Talal Farea, 16, and her sister Rotana, 22, were found dead duct-taped together in the Hudson River. U.S. media said the two sisters had applied for political asylum in the U.S.

Media reports claimed that relatives of the dead girls told police that a Saudi embassy official had telephoned them on Aug. 23 ordering them to return to Saudi Arabia.

But an embassy spokeswoman vehemently denied the claim.

"Reports we ordered anyone related to the Saudi sisters to leave the U.S. for seeking asylum are absolutely false,” Fatimah Baeshen said on Twitter on Saturday.

"Details are still under investigation and will be shared in due course," she added.

Last week, the Saudi Consulate in New York said it has appointed a lawyer to follow up the legal process of the case, pointing out that the girls were studying in the U.S.

Saudi Arabia has been facing world outcry since the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, disappeared on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to receive paperwork he needed to get married.

Once inside, he was immediately strangled and then dismembered, according to the Istanbul Prosecutor’s office.

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