Tag: Saudi Arabia

Ethiopians ‘abused on Gulf route, forcibly deported from Saudi’ | Ethiopia News | Al Jazeera

HRW report says Ethiopian, Yemeni and Saudi officials have taken few, if any, steps to curb violence faced by migrants.

Source: Ethiopians ‘abused on Gulf route, forcibly deported from Saudi’ | Ethiopia News | Al Jazeera

Ethiopian migrants and refugees who have undertaken dangerous journeys to find work in Saudi Arabia are encountering abusive prison conditions before being forcibly deported en masse with nothing but the clothes on their backs, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch.

Based on interviews with deportees in the Ethiopian capital Addis, Ababa, the report on Thursday documented exploitation, trafficking and violence that begin, according to the group, from the moment the migrants set off across the Red Sea or Gulf of Aden to reach the Arabian Peninsula.

It said the people are being exploited and tortured by a network of trafficking groups as they try to cross into Saudi Arabia, adding that officials in the two countries and Ethiopia have done little to protect them from abuses at the hands of traffickers and security forces.

The report also said they have failed to ease the return of hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians caught up in a large-scale Saudi deportation campaign that began in November 2017.

“Many Ethiopians who hoped for a better life in Saudi Arabia face unspeakable dangers along the journey, including death at sea, torture, and all manners of abuses,” said Felix Horne, senior Africa researcher for Human Rights Watch.

“Saudi Arabia has summarily returned hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians to Addis Ababa who have little to show for their journey except debts and trauma.”

The Saudi government has not issued any response yet.

Ethiopians have long looked to Saudi Arabia as an escape from poor economic prospects and state repression, hoping to find work despite not having legal status.

To get there, they board overcrowded boats that are at constant risk of sinking during sea crossings that can last up to 24 hours.

One survivor told Human Rights Watch that he saw smugglers throw dozens of people overboard.

“The boat was in trouble and the waves were hitting it. It was overloaded and about to sink so the [middlemen] picked some out and threw them into the sea, around 25,” he said.

Once in Yemen, Ethiopian migrants said they face kidnappings, beatings and other abuses by traffickers trying to extort ransom money from them or their family members back home. The traffickers include Ethiopians who carry out beatings and torture.

Crossing into Saudi Arabia requires evading border guards who frequently open fire, killing many would-be migrants.

“At the border, there are many bodies rotting, decomposing,” one 26-year-old told Human Rights Watch. “It is like a graveyard.”

After paying the traffickers or escaping, the migrants eventually made their way north to the Saudi-Yemen border, crossing in rural, mountainous areas. Interviewees said Saudi border guards fired at them, killing and injuring others crossing at the same time, and that they saw dead bodies along the crossing routes. Human Rights Watch has previously documented Saudi border guards shooting and killing migrants crossing the border.

Six interviewees told Human Rights Watch they were apprehended by Saudi border police, while five successfully crossed the border but were later arrested. They described abusive conditions in several prisons in southern Saudi Arabia, including inadequate food, toilet facilities, and medical care; lack of sanitation; overcrowding; and beatings by guards.

Despite the risks, up to half a million Ethiopians were in Saudi Arabia when officials there launched a crackdown on undocumented migration in 2017, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Around 10,000 Ethiopians on average were deported monthly between May 2017 and March 2019, and Human Rights Watch said deportations have since continued.

Saudi Arabia detains Mohammad al-Amoudiin in anti-corruption probe

DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia detained 11 princes, four current ministers and tens of former ministers in a probe by a new anti-corruption body headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television reported.

According to a senior Saudi official who declined to be identified under briefing rules, those detained include:

– Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of Kingdom Holding 4280.SE

– Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, minister of the National Guard

– Prince Turki bin Abdullah, former governor of Riyadh province

– Khalid al-Tuwaijri, former chief of the Royal Court

– Adel Fakeih, Minister of Economy and Planning

– Ibrahim al-Assaf, former finance minister

– Abdullah al-Sultan, commander of the Saudi navy

– Bakr bin Laden, chairman of Saudi Binladin Group

– Mohammad al-Tobaishi, former head of protocol at the Royal Court

– Amr al-Dabbagh, former governor of Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority

– Alwaleed al-Ibrahim, owner of television network MBC

– Khalid al-Mulheim, former director-general at Saudi Arabian Airlines

– Saoud al-Daweesh , former chief executive of Saudi Telecom 7010.SE

– Prince Turki bin Nasser, former head of the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment

– Prince Fahad bin Abdullah bin Mohammad al-Saud, former deputy defence minister

– Saleh Kamel, businessman

– Mohammad al-Amoudi, businessman

Reporting by Rania El Gamal; Editing by Andrew Torchia and Paul Tait

Ethiopia condemns Saudi crackdown on workers

PressTV – Ethiopia condemns Saudi crackdown on workers.

Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom has condemned Saudi Arabia for its brutal crackdown on migrant workers in the kingdom.

Saudi authorities have launched the weeklong visa crackdown on foreign workers, killing three people, including an Ethiopian national.
“This is unacceptable. We call on the Saudi government to investigate this issue seriously. We are also happy to take our citizens, who should be treated with dignity while they are there,” Adhanom said on Sunday.
Ethiopia’s top diplomat said Addis Ababa has formally complained to Riyadh and is now working to bring its citizens back home.
Saudi security forces on Saturday clashed with thousands of migrant workers protesting a new labor law.
Two people were killed and nearly 70 others injured after police opened fire to disperse protesters in the capital Riyadh. More than 500 protesters were also detained.
On Wednesday, the Ethiopian man was killed during another crackdown, prompting the Ethiopian government to announce efforts to bring home its citizens.
Riyadh has announced plans to create jobs for Saudi nationals by reducing the number of foreign workers totaling some nine million people.
Hundreds of thousands of workers have already left the kingdom amid tougher conditions for migrants.
Foreign workers cannot change jobs or leave Saudi Arabia without the permission of their sponsors, who are often Saudi companies or individuals who provide workers to businesses for profit.
Most of the sponsors take away the passports of the workers for the duration of their contract.
Human rights groups have criticized Saudi Arabia over the condition of migrant workers in the kingdom and called on Riyadh to abolish the sponsorship system for migrant workers.

Ethiopian migrant killed in Saudi crackdown

Ethiopian migrant killed in Saudi crackdown – Middle East – Al Jazeera English.

The man was trying to resist arrest, authorities say, as they pursue a crackdown on illegal workers, arresting 16,000

An Ethiopian migrant has been killed by Saudi police after he tried to flee arrest during a round-up of thousands of foreigners suspected of working illegally in the kingdom.

A statement on Wednesday by Riyadh police chief Nasser el-Qahtani said security forces killed the African migrant worker in el-Manhoufa a day earlier when he and others tried to resist arrest.

The security sweep comes after seven months of warnings by Saudi Arabia’s government, which has created a task force of 1,200 Labour Ministry officials who are combing shops, construction sites, restaurants and businesses in search of foreign workers employed without proper permits.

More than 16,000 people have already been rounded up, according to authorities.

Strict labour law

Police have also erected checkpoints to enforce the kingdom’s strict labour rules that make it almost impossible to remain in the country without official sponsorship by an employer.

Residents said most shops have been closed since the sweep began on Monday, with many of the country’s migrants avoiding the streets where they face possible arrest.

The state-backed Saudi Gazette reported on Wednesday that residents are already feeling the brunt of the everyday work the migrants provided, from ritual washings of corpses before burial to food delivery and bagging groceries.

Authorities say that since warnings were issued earlier this year, almost seven million foreigners in Saudi Arabia corrected their paperwork to accurately reflect their occupation and workplace.

The kingdom also issued more than one million final exit visas, which ban people from ever returning.

The Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat newspaper reported that authorities detained around 16,500 workers in the first 48 hours of the nationwide crackdown.

The newspaper quoted Saudi officials as saying that nearly half of the migrants were arrested near the southern border with Yemen.

Another 5,000 had been detained in Mecca, where some Muslims stay on illegally after pilgrimage.

Less than 1,000 were detained in the main city of Riyadh.

A resident in the poorer neighborhood of el-Manhoufa in Riyadh told the Associated Press news agency he saw police stopping people outside a mosque after prayers and arresting those who did not have the correct papers on them.