In an oral statement before the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Geneva-based Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor expressed its concerns over the ongoing flagrant violations against Ethiopian migrants in Saudi Arabia.
In a joint statement with the International Institution for Rights and Developments (IRDG) during the 45th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Euro-Med Monitor stated that caves in remote areas in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, became a haven for Ethiopian migrants escaping deportation. Meanwhile, Saudi authorities do not heed to the calls urging it to end deportations during the coronavirus outbreak.
Based on a report by ImpACT international, Ethiopian migrants who were forcefully expelled from Northern Yemen towards Saudi Arabia were met by Saudi border guards' live-fire. Some of them were arbitrarily detained in unsanitary and abusive facilities without legally challenging their detention or eventual deportation to Ethiopia. This forces them to seek shelter in the mountains and caves, escaping the complicated circumstances.
The statement drew attention to the fact that Saudi authorities accumulate the detained migrants in detention facilities in numbers, outnumbering those facilities' capacity. The authorities detain about 16,000 migrants in one center, subjected to beatings, undernourishment, and inhumane treatment. These unlivable conditions led some of them to commit suicide.
In their statements, the two organizations called on the Saudi government to immediately end such harrowing violations against migrant workers and the Ethiopian migrants in particular and allow for an independent, transparent investigation into said incidents to hold the perpetrators accountable.