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The Condition of Refugees and Horn of African Migrant Workers in the Middle East!

This is an appeal forwarded to all governments, international organizations and human rights organizations regarding the deplorable human rights violations being committed against Ethiopian, Eritrean, Somali,……etc. Refugees and migrants in the Middle East.

The despicable crimes being committed particularly against the citizens of the above named three nations are horrific. Listening to and reading about the victims ordeal in Yemen, Egypt (Sinai) and Saudi Arabia is deplorable and it is hard to imagine our planet accommodates people who commit the kind of horror that the world is witnessing. We were assuming that the middle age era was over and all humans were grown to the level of the 21st century at least on the level of human consciousness. But the inhumanity being perpetuated in the Middle East against the citizens of the Horn of Africa proves us wrong.

In Egypt (Sinai) victims are required to pay to the human traffickers up to seventy thousand American dollars per head in order to get freed. When they fail to pay their organ is being sold to the wealthy who can afford to pay the amount demanded by the kidnappers. In the mean time the victims go through torch, rape, underground imprisonment and inhuman intimidation. The situation in Yemen is no different. Ethiopian Refugees there are leading a horrific life. The trauma that they are going through is unspeakable. Numbers of lives drown in the red sea through capsized raft or by being forced to get off the boats in the middle of the sea by the criminal human traffickers that own them is enormous. These criminal human traffickers are damping their victims in the red sea after collecting an exorbitant sum of money to get them to Yemen safely. Even those fortunate who make it to Yemen, are not welcome in Yemen. Robbers and bandits in Yemen take our citizens hostage for an exchange of an exorbitant sum of ransom money which the poor hostages cannot afford to pay. Hence, the fate of these Ethiopian citizens is horrendous. Death, inhumane imprisonment, brutal beating, torching, body mutilation, cutting off tong, cutting off of the male genitals, rape …etc. in the hands of these bandits is now a daily routine. But those who can make a difference are still unwilling to utter even a word let alone take action to alleviate this human tragedy.

The condition for Ethiopians in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is deteriorating fast more than ever. Many Ethiopian citizens are killed by the local people and government armed forces. Recently Selamawi Umar Hagos, Weldemariam Kidan Yohannes from the Irob region of Ethiopia were shot and killed by the KSA police force in a broad day light. Desta Tesfahanis from the same area is died in Saudi Arabian prison a month after giving a birth to a baby boy leaving the new one month old baby behind. This is just to name a few people who are known to IRAA. The number of Ethiopians killed and put in prison in the KSA without any due process is hard to quantify and the prison condition there is below standard. Moreover, the KSA is damping Ethiopians arrested in its territory to the Yemen deserts where the inhuman criminal bandits are active. By this action the Saudi government’s complicity in the here above mentioned crime by committed by the criminal gangs is evident.

This horrendous crime is being perpetrated under the watchful eyes of the world. But the world powers are still very reluctant even to speak out against this heinous crime. This human horror is being ignored or it is not getting the deserved attention by the main stream media outlets.

Here the role of the Ethiopia government is absent. Most of those suffering in Saudi Arabia and Yemen are our fellow Ethiopians. Hence, in a normal circumstance more would have been to be expected from the Ethiopian government. Unfortunately, the role of the Ethiopian government is absent. The government is expected to speak and speak out loud for the rights of its citizens. When any given governments fail to safeguard the rights of citizens anywhere in the world, it means a tacitly understood declaration of its own irrelevance and no question it will cease to exist over time. Hence, the Ethiopian government is well advised to take measures to stand for the rights of its citizens. The Ethiopian government must stand up for its citizens. Immigrant workers, especially those in the Middle East must be given a special attention.

Hence, Irob Rights Advocacy Association (IRAA) calls upon all governments, Human rights organizations and international bodies to speak out against these inhuman actions and to use their good offices to pressure the governments of Egypt, Yemen and Saudi Arabia to fully observe the international human rights declarations in their territories.

IRAA also calls upon the governments of Egypt, Yemen and Saudi Arabia to respect the rights of Ethiopian citizens and other migrants residing in their respective territories. These migrants deserve respect of their human rights and dignity.

At last, and by no means least, we strongly appeal to the Ethiopian government to fulfill its duty of defending the rights of Ethiopian migrants.


Irob Rights Advocacy Association (IRAA)


April 20013



To:          Ethiopian Government (to the Prime Minster)

Saudi Arabian Government (to ambassador to the UN)

Egyptian Government (to ambassador to the UN)

Yemeni Government (to ambassador to the UN)

UN Secretary General

European Union

US state department






Amnesty International

Human rights watch

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