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Asia and the Pacific
Western Asia

Saudi Arabia - August 2023

Mass killing of migrants at Yemen-Saudi border

A report released by Human Rights Watch on 21 August accused Saudi security forces of conducting ‘widespread and systematic’ killings of hundreds of Ethiopian migrants and asylum seekers at the Yemen-Saudi Arabia border. The report uncovers a pattern of lethal force used by Saudi authorities between March 2022 and June 2023, suggesting that these actions could potentially amount to crimes against humanity. The report alleges that Saudi border guards fired small arms, light weapons, and explosive weapons at migrants attempting to cross from Yemen into Saudi Arabia. Additionally, the victims were reportedly subjected to sexual abuse, physical violence, torture, and arbitrary detention. Despite these serious allegations, the Saudi government has dismissed them as baseless, asserting that they are not grounded on credible sources The border region has become a primary transit point for people from the Horn of Africa aiming to reach Saudi Arabia, with many depending on traffickers and thereby becoming vulnerable to violence. While the exact number of victims is still unclear, the report suggests that the actual number of those killed and injured may be higher than reported.

Sources: Associated Press, Al Jazeera, Human Rights Watch, Middle East Eye, Al Monitor

Primary categories and factors
Rights -1 Rights  (-1)
Civil Liberties
Political Equality
Social Group Equality
Rule of Law -1 Rule of Law  (-1)
Personal Integrity and Security