Home | News    Monday 5 November 2012

Atrocities against East African migrants in Yemen on rise - report


By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

November 4, 2012 (ADDIS ABABA) – Thousands of economic migrants from the Horn of Africa are increasingly being exposed to violence in the gulf nation of Yemen, a new report uncovers.

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The report released this week by the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat (RMMS) revealed that East African migrants most of them Ethiopians are regularly being subjected to extreme inhumane abuses including to kidnapping, rape and other forms of torture beginning upon their arrival in Yemen.

According to the new report, the kidnap of new arrivals has increasingly become a common source of financial income to criminal gangs in Yemen.

Kidnappers request up to $300 ransom to free hostages and prevent further torture against a held African migrant, the report said.

“If money is sent from our friends or relatives, we would be released and be free. If not, they would beat us to death,” one Ethiopian migrant told a team of RMMS researchers.

He added, “Our group was 35 at first, but three of our friends died due to the beating”

Other forms of torture by kidnappers include “gouging out eyes, pulling out teeth, hammering nails, severe beatings causing multiple fractures, and dripping melted plastic or stubbing out cigarettes on to skin” the report said.

Perpetrators have committed atrocities against men, women as well as children who are as old as one year old.

A 15-year-old Ethiopian boy who arrived by boat on the Yemeni coast earlier in 2012 told the researchers that he was hung upside down with his legs tied with a rope and was beaten up almost to death for three days.

“I was made to watch an Ethiopian woman being raped and an Ethiopian baby about one-year-old being killed”, he told researchers.

RMMS which was established to support and enhance the protection of people in mixed migration flows in the Horn of Africa and Yemen, conducted interviews with some 130 migrants and groups in Yemen during May and June 2012.

Under various smuggling networks, every year, tens of thousands of Ethiopians and illegal migrants from the Horn of Africa risk their lives by making the dangerous journey across the Gulf of Aden on crowded boats across. Yemen, is a gateway to Saudi Arabia, where migrants hope to find lucrative jobs in the wealthy Arab nation.

During the first eight months of 2012, over 70,000 African migrants made their way to Yemen, three quarters of whom, according to RMMS, were Ethiopian nationals.

Currently there are over 12,000 stranded Ethiopian migrants trapped in Yemen’s Haradh, a Yemeni-Saudi Arabia border town, used by the migrants as a main transit to cross to Saudi Arabia.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), many of the migrants were forced back by Saudi Arabia to Yemen due to their illegal status and remain languishing and in desperate conditions.

The IOM has assisted thousands of Ethiopian and East African migrants return to their home land.

The organization has managed to return more than 6,000 Ethiopian migrants from Yemen in multiple rounds of repatriation operations.

Last March, IOM however announced that it was forced to suspend the repatriation operation to Ethiopian migrants in Yemen after donors failed to fund to the organization’s appeal of US$ 2.6 million.


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  • 5 November 2012 08:43, by Ruach

    Dear Ethiopians,migrating to that notorious,terrorist country will bring shames and loose of life as you experience them now.Any Arab nations are born terrorists and will subject you to tortures,rapes,kidnaps and many others.Come back to Ethiopia,it is better to die poor than going to Arab country!

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  • 5 November 2012 09:44, by 4Justice

    Sahih Muslim Bk 16, Number 4131: Anas reported: He commanded about them, and (thus) their hands and feet were cut off and their eyes were gouged and then they were thrown in the sun, until they died.

    Ibn Ishaq 764 - When he [Muhammad] asked him about the rest he refused to produce it, so the apostle gave orders to al-Zubayr bin al-Awwam, “Torture him until you extract what he has.” So he kindled a fire with flint and steel on his chest until he was nearly dead. Then the apostle delivered him to Muhammad bin Maslama and he struck off his head.”

    Sahih Muslim Bk 19, Number 4345: It has been narrated on the authority of Salama (b. al?Akwa’) who said: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) sent her to the people of Mecca, and surrendered her as ransom for a number of Muslims who had been kept as prisoners at Mecca.

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    • 5 November 2012 10:18, by Asmera

      What a stuipied comment and qurani it is!!! all rubish

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  • 6 November 2012 05:59, by solider

    guys don’t believe anything you read .for what reason the kidnappers turtur their hostage? what advantages they will gain when they beat 15 year old boy ?no kidnapper on earth will harm his source of money(hostage).i won’t say there is no human abuse out there but i won’t belive this story till i see it by my own eyes. be clever and open minded

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