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Saudi forces have killed hundreds of Ethiopian migrants at Yemen border: report

Saudi Arabia's border security forces are accused of "widespread and systematic" killing of Ethiopian migrants crossing from Yemen in what Human Rights Watch says could constitute crimes against humanity.
Yemeni refugees cross the border from Yemen into the southern Saudi province of Jizan on Nov. 8, 2009.

A leading human rights organization accused Saudi security forces of carrying out mass killings of hundreds or possibly thousands of Ethiopian migrants and asylum-seekers, including women and children, who attempted to cross into the kingdom from Yemen between March 2022 and June 2023.

The allegations include eyewitness accounts to more than two dozen instances of Saudi forces firing explosive weapons at groups of unarmed migrants, executing survivors, beating detainees, and at least one case of forcing survivors to rape other survivors.

The report, released Monday by New York-based Human Rights Watch, is based on interviews with 38 Ethiopian migrants who tried to cross during that period and four of their relatives, as well as analysis of more than 350 videos and photos and hundreds of square kilometers of satellite imagery.

“While Human Rights Watch has documented killings of migrants at the border with Yemen and Saudi Arabia since 2014, the killings appear to be a deliberate escalation in both the number and manner of targeted killings,” a summary of the report read.

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