Written By: Elena White
Article Date: May 7, 2012 - 7:54:22 PM
Another report from the Interior Ministry revealed the on-going smuggling problems which Yemen’s Northern provinces’ local authorities are still facing in regards to African refugees’ traffickers operating on the southern Saudi borders.
About a month ago a tale of torture and abuse of African refugees came to light when pictures of a man having been brutally tortured appeared in the media, prompting a popular outcry and leading rights groups to urge the government to tackle the issue head on.
Smugglers are said to be profiting from African refugees as they try to break into Saudi Arabia, hoping that they will find in the Oil rich nation work and a decent life, leaving poverty and famine behind them. Instead their captors use them as bargain chips, demanding from their families that they pay up hefty ransoms for their release, all the while torturing and abusing them.
In statement, the Interior Ministry revealed that 89 Africans had been released, amongst whom 76 Somalis, 6 Sudanese and 7 Nigerian, from a make shift jail in Haradh, where human traffickers have been mainly operating so far.
Despite a promise made by the Human Rights Ministry to end such unlawful and barbaric practice, insecurity in the region is making things difficult for the authorities. Ever since last year’s uprising al-Houthis, a group of Shia rebel wanting to break away from the Republic, and Salafis, Sunni radicals, have use the breakdown in security to resume their battle for control in the Northern provinces.
The UNHCR which reported that the numbers of refugees arriving from Africa to Yemen had more than doubled over the past year as a direct result of war and famine has said to be concerned over this new issue as it put tens of thousands of people of risk to be mistreated, including women and children.
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