OLF Continues to Urge the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Handle Refugees Humanely
Statement of the Oromo Liberation Front – 11, February 2022
The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the Oromo people in general are immensely saddened by the continuous mistreatment of Oromo and other Ethiopian refugees by Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is to be recalled that the OLF had issued a statement on June 21, 2021 regarding the mistreatment of refugees in detention centers by the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Although we hoped that the situation would improve, we are shocked that the mistreatment of refugees has continued getting worse from time to time and reached at an alarming stage.
According to the tangible information coming out from the detention centers in Saudi Arabia, large number of Oromia refugees are currently detained in different parts of the country mainly in Riyad and Jeddah. These refugees are suffering in below-standard detention conditions. According to tangible information received from the detained Ethiopian refugees in Saudi Arabia, more than 95% of the detainees are Oromos. These detainees include children, pregnant women, old age, and people with different sorts of disabilities who are susceptible to various type of diseases and infections caused by overcrowded, unhygienic and suffocated detention conditions. They do not receive essential basic items to survive including food, water, clothing, sanitation, and medicines. We are overly concerned about these refugees as they are exposed to various communicable disease including Covid- 19 and TB. There are reports coming out from the detention centers that some children, women and old aged people are already died. The OLF expresses its sadness of the terrible actions taken on Oromo refugees by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We believe that this is against the covenants and laws of the UNHCR, international Human rights and regional refugee laws. We ask the Government of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to address these inhumane and degrading treatments to the Oromo refugees and reconsider improving the situations as per the national and international laws and obligations of the treatment of political refugees including the UNHCR, Human Rights Council and Children and Vulnerable Peoples Protection laws.
The Oromia refugees are political refugees who escaped from their country due to extreme human and economic rights violations including extra-judicial killings, and political and economic suppression in Ethiopia. The refugees who flee their country to save their lives deserve appropriate protection and must be treated according to the international refugee norms and Human Rights principles. However, it is sad that the political and human rights crisis in Ethiopia is not only ruining the lives and livelihoods of those in the country, but also extended to the refugee hosting countries and citizens are unable to survive at least as refugees in some foreign countries. This is partly because the Ethiopian ruling party impairs are extended to foreign countries. It looks that the Ethiopia Embassy in Saudi Arabia is intentionally silent as most of the Oromo refugees are oppositions to the Ethiopian government. However, the Embassy of
Ethiopia to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia cannot be free from accountability for for damages done to Oromo refugees and lives lost as a result. We would like to inform the Oromia citizens and the Ethiopian oppressed nations and nationalities that the citizens both inside and outside the country has no responsible government to protect them and we are demanding the help of the international community.
Therefore, we request international human rights organizations, especially those institutions responsible for the rights of refugees, minors and children, the ICRC, international health institutions, and relevant united nations bodies to put the necessary pressure on Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to treat these refugees according to the refugee standards and human rights principles. Particularly we ask the UNHCR, UNHRC and ICRC to interfere and save these refugees who are under dangerous life-threatening conditions. Also, we urge the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to end treating the Oromo refugees in degrading and inhumanely manner and urge the Kingdom to treat refugees according to the international laws and humanitarian standards.
Victory to the Masses!
Oromo Liberation Front
February 11, 2022 Finfinne