Global outrage over conditions in Saudi Arabia’s migrant detention camps has resulted in Ethiopia having decided to repatriate nearly 2,000 of it’s nationals by mid-October. The Ethiopian government began repatriating people, mostly women and children, last week.
The Middle East Eye reports that investigations by British newspaper, the Sunday Telegraph, have revealed horrendous conditions at the camps. Migrants detained in the camps are reportedly dying of heatstroke, disease and even suicide.
According to the MME, since the revelations, Ethiopia has been facing intense pressure to bring the migrants home. Many had been stranded in the Kingdom with no work and no money, following the coronavirus outbreak and it’s accompanying restrictions.
An Ethiopian state minister for foreign affairs, Tsion Teklu, however, said the country did not have the resources to repatriate the roughly 14,000 nationals detained, despite the unhygienic and congested conditions prevalent in the camps. Further, according to the Telegraph’s investigation, Ethiopian authorities warned migrant workers in Saudi Arabia of “legal repercussions” if they continued to raise awareness of their conditions on social media. Starved men lying semi-clothed on the floor in rooms without ventilation can be seen, as well as photos in which migrant men reveal scars on their backs, evidence of beatings. The MME reports that the men had been locked up supposedly as part of the Kingdom’s efforts to contain the threat of Covid-19.
Saudi Arabia has promised to launch an investigation into the allegations.
Umm Muhammed Umar