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  • Human Rights Research Center

Hundreds of Ethiopian Migrants Killed at Saudi Arabia Border

August 22, 2023


A Red Sea map shows migration route from Ethiopia to Saudi Arabia through Yemen, in this handout photo released on August 21, 2023. [Image credit: Human Rights Watch/Handout via REUTERS]

Cited article by Andrew Mills, Tiksa Negeri and Milan Pavicic, Reuters


HRRC condemns the brutal and fatal attacks on Ethiopian migrants by Saudi authorities. Saudi Arabia must follow international law in protecting migrants at its borders. Those who have carried out the killings must be held accountable.


Article Summary


According to a recent report by Human Rights Watch, Saudi Arabian border guards killed hundreds of Ethiopian migrants who tried to cross the Yemen-Saudi border between March 2022 and June 2023. Witness testimony and roughly 350 videos and photos show that border guards used explosives and shot migrants in "widespread and systematic" attacks. However, Saudi authorities have denied the claims as "unfounded and not based on reliable sources."


These claims of mistreatment and murder have been ongoing. In October 2022, the United Nations stated that Saudi Arabia was targeting and killing migrants attempting to cross the border. Between January-April 2022, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions contacted Saudi authorities to address reports of the "systematic killing of 430 migrants at the border in at least 16 incidents".


Currently, there are an estimated 750,000 Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia, most of which have fled the genocide in their country.

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