‘Bodies torn in half’: Saudis killed hundreds of Ethiopian migrants on border – report

Saudi border guards are accused of mass killing migrants along the Yemeni border in a new report by Human Rights Watch.

By World Israel News Staff

A recent report from the human rights organization Human Rights Watch has leveled serious allegations against Saudi border guards, accusing them of large-scale killings of migrants at the Yemeni border.

The report, titled They Fired On Us Like Rain, details accounts from migrants who claim they were not only shot at but also targeted with explosive weapons by Saudi law enforcement officials at Yemen’s northern border adjoining Saudi Arabia.

The report includes chilling accounts, including one in which guards asked the migrants which part of their body they should shoot at, subsequently shooting them at a close proximity. The report also detail guards using explosive devices on migrants trying to retreat back to Yemen.

Nadia Hardman, a researcher at Human Rights Watch, commented, “Saudi officials are killing hundreds of migrants and asylum seekers in this remote border area out of view of the rest of the world.”

“Spending billions buying up professional golf, football clubs, and major entertainment events to improve the Saudi image should not deflect attention from these horrendous crimes,” she added.

Human Rights Watch based its findings on interviews with 42 individuals, which included 38 Ethiopian migrants and asylum seekers who attempted to cross the border between March 2022 and June 2023, along with 4 acquaintances or family members of the migrants. The organization also studied over 350 visuals from various sources, including social media, as well as extensive satellite imagery.

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The report brings forth harrowing testimonies of attacks, stating that people traveling in groups were targeted with explosive weapons like mortars soon after crossing the border. The study cites 28 incidents where explosive weapons were reportedly used by Saudi border guards. Additionally, some survivors narrated experiences of being detained, in certain instances lasting several months.

Eyewitness accounts paint grim pictures of the aftermath of such incidents, describing scenes of devastation with the remains of men, women, and children scattered across the terrain. One interviewee recounted, “First, I was eating with people, and then they were dying,” adding, “There are some people who you cannot identify because their bodies are thrown everywhere. Some people were torn in half.”