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Hundreds hold anti-Saudi demos in solidarity with Ethiopians over migrant workers

joseph earnest


by Joseph Earnest  November 21, 2013


Newscast Media ADDIS ABABA—Hundreds of people held a protest rally in the city of Dallas to condemn Saudi Arabia’s mistreatment of Ethiopian migrant workers. The protest took place on Wednesday in downtown Dallas amid a crackdown on undocumented immigrants including Ethiopian workers in Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this week, Ethiopians held a protest rally outside the Saudi Embassy in Washington to express their anger over Riyadh's crackdown on illegal immigrants in the kingdom.

Similar demonstrations were also staged outside Saudi embassies in Norway, Germany, Britain, and Ethiopia earlier this month.

On November 12, the Saudi police killed three Ethiopian migrant workers in the impoverished neighborhood of Manfuhah in the capital, Riyadh, where thousands of African workers, mostly Ethiopians, were waiting for buses to take them to deportation centers.

The Ethiopian government condemned "the act of killing innocent civilians" in Saudi Arabia, calling for an investigation into the killings.

Moreover, on November 16, a video footage emerged showing Saudi Arabia's security forces beating Ethiopian migrant workers.

The video showed men mercilessly beating and punching Ethiopians on the streets and other undisclosed locations. A person is also shown lying dead on the ground with a bullet mark in the chest.

Saudi authorities launched a visa crackdown on undocumented foreign workers in early November. Several foreign workers have since been killed by the Saudi police and many others imprisoned.

Riyadh has announced plans to create jobs for Saudi nationals by reducing the number of foreign workers, totaling some nine million people. Thousands of foreign workers have already surrendered to Saudi authorities.

Hundreds of thousands of workers have already left Saudi Arabia as a result of tough conditions considered for the immigrants.Foreign workers cannot change jobs or leave Saudi Arabia without the permission of their sponsors, who are often Saudi companies or individuals providing workers to businesses for profit.

Most of the sponsors confiscate the passports of the workers for the duration of their contracts.In late October, rights group Amnesty International censured Saudi authorities for not addressing the "dire human rights situation" in the kingdom.

The group also handed in a paper to the United Nations, which included information regarding a "new wave of repression against civil society, which has taken place over the last two years."
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 Source: Press TV












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