A few months after Saudi Arabia pledged to investigate slave-like conditions inside detention centres for tens of thousands of Ethiopian migrants, a new report shows nothing has changed and this slave-like culture continues
Those migrants who found a way to speak to international media, told the Telegreaph that since news of their plight echoed around the world, they have been routinely beaten by prison guards who scoured frantically looking for smuggled phones. Reports indicate that the prisoners were stripped naked, searched and abused.
However, in September migrants told The Telegraph they were being punished for trying to communicate with the outside world. Detainees said they had been handcuffed to each other at the ankles, stripped naked and kept without food or water for 24 hours as punishment.
“It is shocking to hear that up to 16,000 Ethiopian migrants might be languishing in detention in the Al Shumaisi facility. Human Rights Watch and the Telegraph documented horrific conditions in two other centres in Jazan Saudi Arabia where thousands more Ethiopian migrants may also reside,” said Nadia Hardman, a researcher at the NGO Human Rights Watch.
“We repeat our call on Saudi Arabia to immediately release the most vulnerable and improve the miserable conditions for the thousands that remain.”
Within the last few weeks, Saudi Arabia sent nearly 150 women and children back to Ethiopia. This was initially greeted as good news and a step in the right direction.
However, an Ethiopian document from last August that was leaked shows that the repatriation was part of an arrangement between Saudi and Ethiopian authorities, which disgustingly requires migrants to purchase their own one way-tickets home, using the Ethiopian Airline. something the vast majority of migrants can’t do.