Saudi Embassy in Helsinki witnesses angry Ethiopian protests about Riyadh’s abuses, violation of immigrants’ human rights


Ethiopians protesting in front of the Saudi embassy in Helsinki (Credit: Tsedey G.Mariam)

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory

On Friday, November 15, 2013 from 9:00 -11:00 A.M., an estimated 250 Finnish-Ethiopians & Ethiopians resident in Finland angrily, but in an orderly manner, protested in front of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Helsinki, Finland, denouncing the government’s abuses, killings of male immigrants and rape of Ethiopian women.

The Helsinki demonstration was part of the worldwide protests by Ethiopians to expose the atrocities being committed against immigrants by Saudi security forces and vigilante groups as their accomplices, in violation of international law, international human rights laws, most of all human dignity.

Partial view of Ethiopians protesting in front of Saudi Embassy in Helsinki (Credit_ Tsedey G. Mariam)

Partial view of Ethiopians protesting in front of Saudi Embassy in Helsinki (Credit_ Tsedey G. Mariam)
On the occasion, a Protest Note was hand delivered to the government of Saudi Arabia, through the Saudi embassy (addressed to H.E. Ambassador Naif Al Aboud), which in part read:

“WE ARE ASSEMBLED in front of the Saudi Embassy in Helsinki, Finland, to express our utter dismay and anger at the cruelty and degrading treatments Your Excellency’s Government has been inflicting since November 4, 2013 on Ethiopian workers and immigrants in that country…


THIS FAR, so many lives have been lost because of lack of restraints and shots fired by the Kingdom’s security forces. The perished are many and their numbers vary. For civilized humanity that should matter little, since the life of a single individual lost in this situation is one too many. However, for Your Excellency’s information, the estimates until yesterday evening ranged from 13 to 20.

EQUALLY shocking and worrying is the plight of female Ethiopian immigrants. We are receiving extensive reports through international networks of the Ethiopian diaspora about the numerous horrendous rape crimes.

It is unfortunate that the security forces of Your Excellency’s country should be implicated in this. They are accused of collaboration with youth gangs, facilitating for them the situation to follow in their steps and gang rape the women…

FINALLY, there are also those helpless immigrants who are beaten and badly hurt, some of them ending up in hospitals.

SHARED IN COMMON amongst all Ethiopian immigrants affected by this cruel turn of events is the looting and destruction of the few properties they have made. The youth gang groups have robbed some of them, totally vandalizing and destroying others…

IN THE LIGHT OF THE FOREGOING, we expect the Saudi Government to assume full responsibility for these atrocities and tragic situations that ever since November 4, 2013 have been taking place within its territory, especially with complicity of some citizens and its institutions.

WE RECOGNIZE that Saudi Arabia is within its rights to adopt any laws and procedures to protect the interests of its citizens. Nevertheless, as a member of the international community, whose behavior must yield to norms of international coexistence and collaboration, Saudi Arabia cannot claim to be within its rights when it engages in actions that violate the rights and human dignity of foreign workers within its territory…

“As stated above, these people have been subjected to atrocities and degrading treatments – practices outlawed under international law.

IN CIVILIZED SOCIETY, governed by the rule of law, including and especially under international human rights and humanitarian law, as Your Excellency is aware, these are injurious criminal acts liable to rigorous punishments.

FOR NOW, until the Ethiopian immigrants return to their country or any other destination(s), the urgency for the Saudi government must be:

•     To help bring with immediate effect an end to the various forms of violence, mistreatments, human degradation and deprivations.

•     To relocate pregnant women and lactating mothers to safe and hygienic places, where they can receive food and drinking water and proper sleeping places, instead of the garbage damping sites Saudi officials have been using as holding camps.

 •     To bring to justice the perpetrators of these odious criminal acts…”


Ethiopians condemning the abuses against and violation of human rights of Ethiopian immigrants in Saudi Arabia (Credit: Tsedey G.Mariam)

Ethiopians condemning the abuses against and violation of human rights of Ethiopian immigrants in Saudi Arabia (Credit: Tsedey G.Mariam)


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