Saudi Arabia says Ethiopian migrants repatriated according regulations
ISTANBULSaudi Arabia responded to Human Rights Watch’s statement warning a potential “humanitarian disaster” in the Kingdom following the expulsion of thousands of illegal workers, indicating that all immigrants were repatriated according regulations defined in the framework of law.
Ethiopia said on Dec. 5 that over 100,000 of its citizens were being repatriated following a crackdown on illegal immigrants.
“The adjustment process for the illegal workers is not selective or directed toward certain nationalities,” Saudi Arabia said in a written statement Dec. 6.
“Prior to this campaign and seven months before its implementation, the Saudi Government – through all media means – urged all those who are residing illegally in Saudi territory to refer to the relevant authorities to correct their status. The Saudi Government had facilitated this process for them through extending the amnesty period,” the statement said, denying allegations of violence against migrants.
“While applying the law, the Kingdom – throughout the whole process – had been very careful, and well-treated everyone within the framework of law and regulations. The respective Embassies of the expatriates were asked to urge their nationals to respond positively to the requirements of correcting their status,” it said.
The statement also accused some Ethipian workers of “starting riot, systemmat6ic destruction and assaults leading to killing and injuring many people, including security personnel.”
Ethiopia started repatriating its citizens from Saudi Arabia last month after a seven-month amnesty period for undocumented immigrants expired, sparking violent protests between Ethiopian migrants and Saudi police.
Human Rights Watch has urged Saudi authorities to launch a probe into the violence, and warned of a potential "humanitarian disaster" for workers held in custody.