Saturday, November 03, 2012

Ethiopian migrants kidnapped, tortured, raped in Yemen

(Nov 03, 2012, AlertNet)--Migrants travelling from the Horn of Africa to Yemen in search of a better life are regularly. thiopian migrants sleep out in the open near a transit centre where they wait to be repatriated in the western Yemeni town of Haradh, on the border with Saudi Arabia, March 29, 2012. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah.

kidnapped, tortured and raped, according to a new report by the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat (RMMS). At least 230,000 migrants have undertaken this hazardous, often lethal, journey over the last six years and the rate of migration is increasing dramatically.

In the first eight months of 2012, over 70,000 African migrants entered Yemen, three quarters of whom were Ethiopian. idnapping has become increasingly common in Yemen, with the majority of respondents who arrived in the last 18 months saying they were held for ransom after disembarking from smugglers boats, said the report from RMMS, working to help migrants in the Horn of Africa and across the Gulf of Aden.

“If money [was] sent from our friends or relatives, we would be released and be free. If not, they would beat us to death,” one Ethiopian migrant told the researchers who interviewed some 130 individuals and groups in Yemen in May and June 2012. “Our group was 35 at first, but three of our friends died due to the beating.”
On average, migrants and their relatives pay the criminal gangs $100 to $300 to secure their release and prevent further torture, the report said. Read more from Indepth Africa »

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