Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Saudi Arabia migrant expulsions: 'They beat us. I want to warn others not to go'

    Wednesday, December 11, 2013   No comments

Abdulla Shahmola trudges up the road leading from Addis Ababa airport to the outskirts of the city, his battered black suitcase balanced precariously on his head. Weariness and relief are etched into his delicate features as he heaves his heavy bag to the floor. "I have so many possessions that I had to leave behind in Saudi Arabia – a television, a bed, a fridge," he laments, adding that he is thankful to be back in Ethiopia.

Abdulla is one of hundreds of men, women and children steadily streaming from the airport cargo terminal, where up to 20 flights have been arriving daily from Jeddah and Riyadh since 13 November. A kilometre's walk from the hastily erected transit centre, which has been processing some 7,000 returning migrants each day, a small crowd, held back by federal police officers in blue military fatigues, waits anxiously for a glimpse of a loved one.


As of 8 December, 115,465 Ethiopians – 72,780 men, 37,092 women and 5,593 children, 202 of whom were unaccompanied – had returned from Saudi Arabia, according to government figures. The migrants, most of whom were in Saudi Arabia without work permits, were expelled after a tightening of labour regulations in March and the expiration of an amnesty for illegal workers on 4 November.

More than a million migrant workers from across Asia have been expelled from the kingdom as part of the crackdown, which is designed to get more Saudis into jobs and reduce the high unemployment rate.

The crackdown has triggered clashes in the capital, Riyadh, in which three Ethiopians were reportedly killed, sparking outrage in Ethiopia.

"They beat us," alleges Abdulla. He reaches into his pocket, pulls out his mobile phone and opens images of badly beaten Ethiopians, singling out one man whose throat appears to have been slit. His friends do the same, thrusting forward their mobiles. "I saw people killed. They are murderers," he hisses.



Islamic Societies Review

About Islamic Societies Review

Islamic Societies Review Editors

Previous
Next Post
No comments:
Write comments

Most popular articles

All Referred Articles

_______________________________________________

Copyright © Islamic Societies Review. All rights reserved.