Video: Nightmare for Eritrean/ Ethiopian Migrants in Saudi Arabia

Ethiopian illegal worker killed during scuffle with police

Arab News

Published — Friday 8 November 2013

Saudi African Migrant

Police detain illegal African immigrants in Riyadh

An Ethiopian living illegally in the Kingdom was killed by security forces in Riyadh on Wednesday as he tried to grab a policeman’s weapon during a raid.

The incident occurred in the south of Riyadh during ongoing operations by security authorities to arrest violators.

Riyadh police have arrested 1,794 illegal expatriates in the capital, bringing the total number of detained illegals in the Kingdom to 11,756 on Wednesday.

According to an official from Riyadh police, the arrested workers were from 14 different nationalities. Ethiopian nationals topped the list of those arrested. 

Riyadh police spokesman Brig. Nasser bin Saeed Al-Qahtani said that the Ethiopian national, who resisted arrest, died in the scuffle from gunshot injuries. His body is currently being kept at the morgue of the King Saud Medical Complex in Riyadh.

In Jeddah, over 13,000 people have been rounded up by police since the inspection raids began Monday. 1st Lt. Nawaf Al-Bouq, spokesman for Jeddah police, confirmed the latest statistics.

More than 500 officers took part in inspection campaigns aimed at arresting illegal expats and reorganizing the labor market.

Al-Bouq told Arab News that the detained violators came mainly from Pakistan, Egypt, Eritrea, Somalia, Indonesia, India and Yemen.

He said the raids covered most Jeddah neighborhoods. “We focused on strongholds in which violators are usually found, such as Al-Kandara, Al-Baghdadiyah, Al-Hindawiyah, Al-Mazloom and Jeddah’s old town,” he said.

“We transferred violators to a housing center for accommodation, where people were grouped according to nationality,” he said. “We then ascertain whether any of the violators have criminal records before deporting them.”

More than 70 percent of violators were caught without proof of identity or official documentation in their possession. Some of them tried to escape but we were able to detain them,” he said.

Meanwhile, Makkah police rounded up more than 12,000 violators during the same period.

Lt. Col. Abd Al-Muhsin Al-Maiman, spokesman for Makkah police, said the campaign focused “on main squares and public places, in addition to locations that had been earlier designated by the investigation unit.”

In the Eastern Province more than 1,000 illegal workers have been arrested in raids. Police targeted shops and markets during the raids which began Monday.

Speaking to Arab News, Col. Ziyad Al-Ruqaiti said: “We have arrested 1,275 undocumented foreign workers in the last two days. They will be handed over to the officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs.”

• Md Rasooldeen, Nadim Al-Hamid & Saeed Al-Asmari contributed to this report