Ethiopia detains Tigray people repatriated from Saudi Arabia: HRW | Human Rights News

A new report from a human rights watchdog claims that Tigray people were singled out for abuse after returning to conflict-affected Ethiopia.

A new report from Human Rights Watch (HRW) stated that thousands of Tigray repatriated from Saudi Arabia were detained or forcibly disappeared after returning to Ethiopia.

The allegations detailed by Human Rights Watch on Wednesday occurred during the brutal clashes between federal government forces and combatants in northern Tigray in November 2020, which caused tens of thousands of deaths and triggered a huge humanitarian crisis. .

The Ethiopian government declared a six-month state of emergency in November. deny Identify the Tigray people based on their race.It said that only people who were suspicious of supporting Tigray’s army, they last month Pull back their area, Is under investigation.Ethiopia’s own national subsidiary authority overseeing rights is estimated to have thousands of people In trouble.

Human Rights Watch said in its report that the Tigray people were repatriated from Saudi Arabia. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians have migrated to Saudi Arabia to find work. After returning, they were singled out and detained in the capital Addis Ababa and other places.

The report stated that after other people were identified at roadside checkpoints or at the airport and transferred to detention facilities, they were prevented from returning to the Tigray region, the northernmost tip of Ethiopia.

Nadia Hardman, a refugee and immigrant rights researcher at Human Rights Watch, said: “Ethiopian authorities are persecuting Tigray people deported from Saudi Arabia through wrongful detention and enforced disappearance.”

The Ethiopian authorities did not immediately comment.

The rights watchdog interviewed the Tigray people deported from Saudi Arabia to Ethiopia between December 2020 and September 2021. During this period, tens of thousands of people were deported according to the agreement between the two countries.

Some Tiglayan deportees who were detained after arriving in Ethiopia reported physical abuse, including beatings with rubber or wooden sticks. Others are accused of colluding with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which ran Tigray before the war and is now considered a “terrorist” organization by the federal government.

The two deportees told Human Rights Watch that they were taken away by the police along with others in the immigration center and transported by bus to the coffee farm, where they worked in poor conditions, were unpaid, and had very little food. Many people are denied contact with their families and fear that their relatives think they are still in Saudi Arabia.

The report stated: “Ethiopian authorities have detained thousands of Tigray people who were deported from Saudi Arabia, but failed to notify their families of their arrest or whereabouts. This constitutes enforced disappearance and violates international law.”

At the same time, the US Horn of Africa special envoy Jeffrey Feltman will visit Ethiopia on Thursday to meet with senior government officials to discuss peace negotiations, which is the latest international effort to end the conflict.