New life in Marbella for rescued girls

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JIMENA RICO and Shaza Ismail, a young couple who were imprisoned in Turkey after fleeing homophobic persecution in Dubai, are moving to Marbella to start a new life together after getting engaged.

The girls, who are 28 and 22 respectively, had flown to Dubai to visit Shaza’s supposedly sick mother. They dramatically escaped, however, after discovering the girl’s Egyptian father wanted her to face trial for her sexuality, which is illegal in Dubai.

The couple fled to Georgia, where the man intercepted them, tearing up their travel documents. Police intervened and took the girls to the Turkish border, where they crossed over. Turkish police soon caught up with them though, and imprisoned on suspicion of terrorism them without access to legal advice or phones.

Ms Rico’s frantic family, who live in Torrox, contacted the authorities here losing telephone contact with her. Spanish diplomats managed to trace the girls to Turkey and liaised with the government there to secure their quick release.

The girls, who say they are “shattered” by their experience, are now engaged and have both been offered positions at the Funky Buddha Beach, a club in Marbella.

The girls are continuing to share details of their ordeal, which they say involved being “spat at” and questioned about their sex-life by police in Turkey. They say they now want to highlight persecution of homosexuality.

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