Report: Saudi Arabia has refugees shot
According to a new report by Human Rights Watch, Saudi border guards have killed several hundred migrants since the beginning of 2022. Most of them came from Ethiopia and were trying to flee their war-torn country and cross into Saudi Arabia via Yemen. For commentators, this, together with other serious human rights violations, means it’s high time for a different approach vis-à-vis Saudi Arabia.
High time for sanctions
The UN must act now, The Irish Times insists:
“The Saudis deny the claims as ‘not based on reliable sources’, but the BBC and New York Times have corroborated testimonies as have UN rapporteurs, the Mixed Migration Centre. The BBC has evidence the killings are continuing. ... The report estimates the death toll between March 2022 and June 2023 in the hundreds but says that it could be in the thousands. ... The killings further stain Saudi’s abysmal human rights record. The UN must launch an urgent investigation and targeted sanctions at those responsible.”
No going back to business as usual
The report should certainly give Saudi Arabia’s partners food for thought, writes the taz:
“It is also awkward for Western governments that are in the process of expanding their relations with Saudi Arabia. When they do this they turn a blind eye and generously overlook the dark sides of the regime. Despite Saudi Arabia’s brutal war in Yemen, the barbaric murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the growing number of executions, Germany trains officers of the Saudi border police (!) and the kingdom is a top customer of German arms companies. Just this May, Foreign Minister Baerbock was in Saudi Arabia to promote the expansion of economic relations. But after this report, there can be no ‘business as usual’.”