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Saudi Arabia visa raids leave two dead

November 2013, 11
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Saudi Arabia Riyadh
Clashes between police and foreign workers in Saudi Arabia capital Riyadh, have left two dead and 68 injured after 561 people were arrested in raids on illegal visas. Since the unrest, local officials have urged all those without the correct visas to present themselves at a shelter so they can be deported.
It is thought that most of those who were caught up in the recent raids were of African descent. One of the killed foreigners was said to have been from Ethiopia, leading to a statement fro the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry saying it condemned the killing and the mistreatment of its people in Saudi Arabia.
It has also been reported in recent weeks that many workers are being trafficked into the area to work on building sites, where they are forced to live in cramped conditions, work long hours and with very little pay. Many of these workers have not been issued with the correct visas.
The raid is part of a crackdown on illegal workers in the area which is being described as a “security campaign”. Workers were given a short time to have their visas correctly issued as part of an amnesty, but many have failed to do so due to disputes with their sponsors or bureaucracy.

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