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One migrant told researcher Abuse of detainees in Saudi camps continues despite international outcry

One migrant told researchers that he had seen three detainees killed by guards

Saudi Arabia detains thousands of Ethiopian migrants in squalid detention centres before deporting them over Covid-19 spread. Not just Covid 19 the fact that there is a country our blind Religious people go to worship and they can treat human beings like these.

Several months after Saudi Arabia pledged to investigate slave-like conditions inside detention centres for tens of thousands of mainly Ethiopian migrants, a new report published on Tuesday shows that little has changed. Several migrants at a deportation centre in the Saudi capital Riyadh spoke to researchers at Human Rights Watch (HRW) in November on phones smuggled into the centres. They claimed that about 350 of them were kept in unsanitary rooms in the centre and guards beat migrants with rubber clad-metal rods. Six out of nine of HRW’s interviewees said that they witnessed guards beat migrants so severely that they were taken from the detention room but never returned. In one case, a 27-year-old man from Ethiopia claimed he saw the killing of three other detainees, two of whom were beaten so badly by the guards that they died immediately as a result of their injuries; the third died two hours later.

There are also signs that many more nationalities could be in the centres. Previously it was thought that almost all of the migrants were Ethiopians, who had migrated to the rich Gulf nation for a better life.

However, migrants told researchers that Indians, Pakistanis, Chadians, Ghanaians, Kenyans, Nigerians, and Somalis were also kept in the camps. It is unclear how many non-Ethiopian migrants there are in the centres.

HRW spoke to two Indians from the centres. One of them said that the sub-Saharan Africans were generally kept in different rooms to the South Asians. It is also understood that women and children are kept in different buildings to the men.

The news comes almost three months after an investigation by The Telegraph found that thousands of migrants were being kept for months on end in sunless rooms and forced to sleep and eat in their own faeces as part of a Saudi policy designed to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Migrants in several centres across the oil-rich kingdom told the paper in August that they had been regularly beaten, tortured, starved of food and water and that some young men had died of disease and dehydration in the Arabian heat.

After a widespread international outcry, which included a vote of condemnation by the European Parliament, Saudi officials promised to investigate all the government centres.

However, in September migrants told The Telegraph they were being punished for trying to communicate with the outside world. Detainees said they had been handcuffed to each other at the ankles, stripped naked and kept without food or water for 24 hours as punishment.

“Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s richest countries, has no excuse for detaining migrant workers in appalling conditions, in the middle of a health pandemic, for months on end,” said Nadia Hardman, refugee and migrant rights researcher at HRW.

“Video footage of people crammed together, allegations of torture, and unlawful killings are shocking, as is the apparent unwillingness of the authorities to do anything to investigate conditions of abuse and hold those responsible to account.”

The Telegraph contacted the Saudi Arabian Embassy in London for comment but none had been received at the time of going to press.