The British Sunday Telegraph revealed that thousands of African immigrants have been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia in camps similar to those called "slave camps" in Libya, to limit the spread of the Corona virus.
Today, Sunday, the newspaper published pictures sent to the newspaper by migrants held in the camps, showing dozens of men in a state of emaciation, and they said that some of them were paralyzed due to the high temperature.
The newspaper said that the detainees "were lying, shirtless, in tightly packed lines in small rooms with windows with bars."
One of the photos published by the "Telegraph" also showed a covered body, which the detainees say is that of "a migrant who died from heat stroke."
Migrants indicated that they "barely have access to enough food and water to survive."
According to the newspaper, another photo revealed that a young African committed suicide after losing hope, and after he had been detained since April, according to his friends.
The "Telegraph" collected immigrant testimonies, which it considered evidence of "appalling conditions inside detention centers in Saudi Arabia," through intermediaries.
It quoted the detained migrants as saying that they were beaten by guards who insulted them racist.
Abibi, who has been held in a camp for more than 4 months, said, "Here is hell. We are treated like animals and we are beaten daily," indicating that he will commit suicide if he does not find a way to escape from the camp.
"My only crime is to leave my country in search of a better life. They all beat us with whips and electric wires, as if we were murderers," he added.
"The guards just throw the bodies out back as if it was trash"
One of the wealthiest countries on earth is keeping hundreds of African migrants locked in heinous conditions
Read the Sunday Telegraph investigation by @_Will_Brown and @ZekuZelalemhttps: //t.co/WD04ExlHCR
- The Telegraph (@Telegraph) August 30, 2020
The Saudi authorities began detaining African migrants when the Corona pandemic hit the country last March, and I feared that the migrants, who often reside in crowded conditions, were carriers of the virus.
Accordingly, nearly 3,000 were deported by the Saudi security services to Ethiopia in the first ten days of April.
The "Sunday Telegraph" was able to determine the geographical location of two centers; One of them is in Shumaisi, near the city of Makkah, and the other is in Jizan, near Yemen.
Many immigrants indicated that they were arrested from their homes in various Saudi cities before they were placed in detention centers.
Commenting on the Sunday Telegraph report, Adam Coogle, deputy director of Human Rights Watch in the Middle East, said that photos taken from detention centers in southern Saudi Arabia "show that the authorities there are subjecting Horn of Africa migrants to squalid, crowded and inhumane conditions without any regard for their safety." Or their dignity. "
He added, "The squalid detention centers in the south of the kingdom do not live up to international standards for a rich country like Saudi Arabia," stressing that there is no excuse for detaining migrants in such unfortunate circumstances.
In June 2019, the number of foreign workers in Saudi Arabia was estimated at 6.6 million, making up about 20% of the population of the Gulf state, most of whom held low-wage and often physically strenuous jobs.
According to the same newspaper, there are other detention centers crowded with women, which are separate from those for men.