1/ UPDATE: 2 weeks ago we wrote that "hundreds if not thousands" of migrants from #Ethiopia were trapped horrific prisons in #SaudiArabia.

Now new information suggests that this was just the tip of the iceberg.


2/ Abdo Yassin, Ethiopia’s Consul in Jeddah, said that there are dozens of prisons with Ethiopians in them.

He said at just one centre at Al Shumasi, near Mecca, there are about 16,000 Ethiopian migrants kept in prison and holding cells. (Credit: EBC News)
3/ Last week, the Ethiopian government made a show of repatriating almost 150 women and children from Saudi Arabia, after we found that officials tried to silence the migrants, most probably to avoid a diplomatic fall out with a major investor.

4/ However, an official document shows that their repatriation was part of an arrangement between Saudi and Ethiopian authorities, which required the impoverished migrants to purchase their own tickets home from Ethiopian Airlines.

5/ Saudi Arabia said it would investigate all of its centres in light of our investigation.

But migrants told us that since their plight went around the world, they have been beaten brutally by prison guards who scoured the rooms for smuggled phones.

6 / They say they were stripped naked and that some of them were put in handcuffs during the searches.

Worse still, Ethiopia’s embassy in Riyadh announced yesterday that Saudi Arabia had voided the repatriation agreement, leaving migrants with no way to escape the Kingdom.

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More from @_Will_Brown

30 Aug
1/ #SaudiArabia, one of the wealthiest countries on earth, is keeping hundreds if not thousands of migrants from #Ethiopia locked in heinous conditions reminiscent of Libya’s slave camps as part of a drive to stop the spread of Covid-19, a @TelGlobalHealth investigation has found
2/ Our full report is free to read here. Great to work with the brilliant @ZekuZelalem on this.

3/ Graphic mobile phone images sent to the newspaper by migrants held inside the detention centres show dozens of emaciated men crippled by the Arabian heat lying shirtless in tightly packed rows in small rooms with barred windows.
Read 8 tweets

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