Pakistani migrant workers ‘packed as animals’ and ‘forced to drink from toilet’ in Saudi Arabia
Most detainees don't know how long they will be kept at the centers, or what charges have been leveled against them.
Saudi Arabia’s treatment of migrants has come under sharp criticism from rights groups following reports that detainees are “are packed as animals” and forced to “drink from the toilet.”
These are the terrible conditions in Al-Shumaisi Detention Centre, according to detainees awaiting deportation from the kingdom. Many of those arrested by Saudi officials, for working illegally, find themselves in the Al-Shumaisi Detention Centre, a vast complex designed to hold 32,000 inmates.
Most detainees don’t know how long they will be kept at the centers, or what charges have been leveled against them.
“We are packed as animals. We sleep on hard metal beds with no mattress, no proper sanitation”,” Ibraahin lamented. “We drink water from the toilet. If you have money you can purchase clean water. If you don’t have any, you take dirty water from the toilet.”
Another inmate arrested for being undocumented while working as a camel shepherd complained about the lack of food. “We are given bread, very little dry rice, and no protein. The food they give is of very bad quality. There are no lemons, no vegetables.”
Both men told the Guardian that when they were arrested, the police demanded bribes and said they would be freed if paid. “If you have the money and ability to give a bribe, nobody will take you to jail,” Ibraahin is reported saying.
Reports of the inhumane conditions within Saudi detention centers was met with sharp criticism from rights groups who pointed to the kingdom’s failure to uphold basic standards.
“Despite the overcrowding, insanitary conditions, lack of proper healthcare and physical torture in Saudi Arabia’s immigration detention centers, KSA has done little to improve them or take steps to treat detainees with dignity,” Adam Coogle, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch (HRW), said.
“In a time of increased dangers from the coronavirus, Saudi Arabia should move beyond detainee releases and take real steps to overhaul these centers and rethink its mass deportation policy,” expressed Coogle.
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