Human Rights Watch: Ethiopia detains and mistreats Tigrayans after deporting them from Saudi Arabia

Human Rights Watch: Ethiopia detains and mistreats Tigrayans after deporting them from Saudi Arabia  Ethiopia has detained thousands of Tigrayans after their deportation from Saudi Arabia, Human Rights Watch said today, Wednesday. She noted that the guards treat them brutally and that they live in appalling conditions in both countries.  Many of the region's people found themselves caught between the hammer of a draconian deportation program in Saudi Arabia and the anvil of the Ethiopian government's crackdown during the conflict in their northern region.  The New York-based rights group cited a long list of abuses against deported Tigrayans in Ethiopia, which included beatings with rubber or wooden sticks, preventing them from speaking to family members, forcing them to collect coffee beans for free, and depriving them of food and water.  The report said that the Saudi authorities arrested them mainly because of their “status as irregular migrants.” Some detainees also reported that they were beaten, forced to strip naked, and endure freezing temperatures and insufficient bedding.  “Ethiopian authorities are persecuting Tigrayans deported from Saudi Arabia by unjustly detaining and forcibly disappearing them,” said Nadia Hardman, researcher at Human Rights Watch.  "Saudi Arabia should stop contributing to these abuses by ending the forcible return of Tigrayans to Ethiopia and allowing them to seek asylum or resettle in third countries," she added.  The Saudi government media office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.  The government of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, which has been fighting the Tigray People's Liberation Front since late 2020, denies any discrimination against the people of the region.  "There are no prisons or places designated on an ethnic basis for deportees from other countries," government spokesman Legisi Tolo told Reuters.  He added that the report was incorrect and not supported by evidence and was based on the testimonies of persons working for the Tigray People's Liberation Front.  He added that many Ethiopians were detained under the state of emergency on suspicion of aiding what he described as terrorists, the federal government's term for the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), which has ruled the region for a long time and dominated the political scene before Abiy took power.  Thieves don't need food! Human Rights Watch said it spoke to detainees in five facilities across Ethiopia who estimated that there were hundreds of detainees in each.  Tarhas, a 33-year-old woman who was deported from Saudi Arabia in December 2020, said she was detained with about 700 deportees and then put on a bus.  Human Rights Watch quoted her as saying, “We asked the Federal Police for food and water and to use the toilet, but we were beaten every time we left our seats. They said the thieves don't need food.”  Federal Police spokesman Gilan Abdi said he was not aware of any case in which returnees from Saudi Arabia have been subjected to such conditions.  In testimony similar to that reported by Human Rights Watch, a Tigray man said last month that he was deported to Ethiopia after spending two years in a Saudi prison and then detained in a detention center in Addis Ababa in November and accused of supporting the Tigray People's Liberation Front.  "We were taken somewhere further south around Jimma (in Oromia region) to a forest People were sick, they were starving, and I kept thinking maybe I would die tomorrow," he added.  Another Tigrayan man who lives in the capital, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, told Reuters that three of his relatives were deported from Saudi Arabia in July.  He added that they were registered with the Ethiopian Red Cross upon arrival, but were subsequently arrested at their homes after a state of emergency was declared on November 2.  Tens of thousands of Ethiopian immigrants work abroad, mainly in the Middle East. Addis Ababa said last year it would help repatriate 40,000 of its citizens from Saudi Arabia.  United Nations data indicated that about 31.5 percent of people who returned to Ethiopia from Saudi Arabia between April 2017 and August 2021 intended to return to Tigray.  Thousands of civilians have died as a result of the war, about 400,000 are facing starvation in Tigray, and about 9.4 million people across northern Ethiopia are in need of food aid.

Human Rights Watch: Ethiopia detains and mistreats Tigrayans after deporting them from Saudi Arabia


Ethiopia has detained thousands of Tigrayans after their deportation from Saudi Arabia, Human Rights Watch said today, Wednesday. She noted that the guards treat them brutally and that they live in appalling conditions in both countries.

Many of the region's people found themselves caught between the hammer of a draconian deportation program in Saudi Arabia and the anvil of the Ethiopian government's crackdown during the conflict in their northern region.

The New York-based rights group cited a long list of abuses against deported Tigrayans in Ethiopia, which included beatings with rubber or wooden sticks, preventing them from speaking to family members, forcing them to collect coffee beans for free, and depriving them of food and water.

The report said that the Saudi authorities arrested them mainly because of their “status as irregular migrants.” Some detainees also reported that they were beaten, forced to strip naked, and endure freezing temperatures and insufficient bedding.

“Ethiopian authorities are persecuting Tigrayans deported from Saudi Arabia by unjustly detaining and forcibly disappearing them,” said Nadia Hardman, researcher at Human Rights Watch.

"Saudi Arabia should stop contributing to these abuses by ending the forcible return of Tigrayans to Ethiopia and allowing them to seek asylum or resettle in third countries," she added.

The Saudi government media office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The government of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, which has been fighting the Tigray People's Liberation Front since late 2020, denies any discrimination against the people of the region.

"There are no prisons or places designated on an ethnic basis for deportees from other countries," government spokesman Legisi Tolo told Reuters.

He added that the report was incorrect and not supported by evidence and was based on the testimonies of persons working for the Tigray People's Liberation Front.

He added that many Ethiopians were detained under the state of emergency on suspicion of aiding what he described as terrorists, the federal government's term for the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), which has ruled the region for a long time and dominated the political scene before Abiy took power.

Thieves don't need food!
Human Rights Watch said it spoke to detainees in five facilities across Ethiopia who estimated that there were hundreds of detainees in each.

Tarhas, a 33-year-old woman who was deported from Saudi Arabia in December 2020, said she was detained with about 700 deportees and then put on a bus.

Human Rights Watch quoted her as saying, “We asked the Federal Police for food and water and to use the toilet, but we were beaten every time we left our seats. They said the thieves don't need food.”

Federal Police spokesman Gilan Abdi said he was not aware of any case in which returnees from Saudi Arabia have been subjected to such conditions.

In testimony similar to that reported by Human Rights Watch, a Tigray man said last month that he was deported to Ethiopia after spending two years in a Saudi prison and then detained in a detention center in Addis Ababa in November and accused of supporting the Tigray People's Liberation Front.

"We were taken somewhere further south around Jimma (in Oromia region) to a forest People were sick, they were starving, and I kept thinking maybe I would die tomorrow," he added.

Another Tigrayan man who lives in the capital, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, told Reuters that three of his relatives were deported from Saudi Arabia in July.

He added that they were registered with the Ethiopian Red Cross upon arrival, but were subsequently arrested at their homes after a state of emergency was declared on November 2.

Tens of thousands of Ethiopian immigrants work abroad, mainly in the Middle East. Addis Ababa said last year it would help repatriate 40,000 of its citizens from Saudi Arabia.

United Nations data indicated that about 31.5 percent of people who returned to Ethiopia from Saudi Arabia between April 2017 and August 2021 intended to return to Tigray.

Thousands of civilians have died as a result of the war, about 400,000 are facing starvation in Tigray, and about 9.4 million people across northern Ethiopia are in need of food aid.


Including Ghannouchi and Marzouki the Tunisian judiciary refers 19 people to trial  On charges of "committing electoral crimes", according to a statement by the Information Office at the Court of First Instance in the Tunisian capital, 19 people were referred to trial, including Ennahda leader Rached Ghannouchi and former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki.  On Wednesday, the Tunisian judiciary decided to refer 19 people to trial for "election violations," including the head of the "Ennahda" movement, Rached Ghannouchi, and former President Moncef Marzouki.  This came according to a statement issued by the Information and Communication Office of the Court of First Instance in the capital, Tunis, the content of which was quoted by the official news agency.  The decision to refer, according to the statement, was taken due to "committing electoral crimes (during the 2019 elections), such as using illegal electoral propaganda through social media, and propaganda during the electoral silence period."  He added that "it was not possible to refer others (he did not mention them) to the court for reasons related to some procedures for raising a public case related to the violator's status and to complete some research (investigations)."  According to the statement, among the persons referred to the council are "Ghannouchi and Marzouki, the head of the Qalb Tounes party, the presidential candidate for the 2019 elections, Nabil Karoui, and the former Minister of Defense Abdel Karim Zubaidi."  Among them are also, according to the statement, "former prime ministers: Youssef Al-Shahed, Elias Al-Fakhfakh, Mahdi Juma'a, and Hammadi Al-Jabali."  The court’s decision is based on the Court of Accounts report regarding the early presidential elections in 2019.  On Wednesday, Riad al-Shuaibi, an advisor to the head of the Ennahda movement, told Anadolu Agency: "Ghannouchi was not a candidate in the 2019 presidential elections, so there is no justification for directing this procedure (referral) to him."  The Court of Accounts had previously announced electoral violations committed by the President of the Republic, Qais Saied, during his campaign for the presidential elections, related to errors in the calculations and the failure to mention some issues in the bills.  Since last July 25, Tunisia has been witnessing a political crisis as a result of exceptional measures by President Kais Saied, including: freezing the powers of Parliament, lifting the immunity of its deputies, abolishing the constitutionality monitoring body, issuing legislation with presidential decrees, dismissing the prime minister and appointing new ones.  The majority of political and civil forces in Tunisia reject Said's exceptional measures, and consider them a "coup against the constitution", while other forces support them, seeing them as a "correction of the course of the 2011 revolution" that overthrew the rule of then-President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (1987-2011).

Including Ghannouchi and Marzouki the Tunisian judiciary refers 19 people to trial


On charges of "committing electoral crimes", according to a statement by the Information Office at the Court of First Instance in the Tunisian capital, 19 people were referred to trial, including Ennahda leader Rached Ghannouchi and former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki.

On Wednesday, the Tunisian judiciary decided to refer 19 people to trial for "election violations," including the head of the "Ennahda" movement, Rached Ghannouchi, and former President Moncef Marzouki.

This came according to a statement issued by the Information and Communication Office of the Court of First Instance in the capital, Tunis, the content of which was quoted by the official news agency.

The decision to refer, according to the statement, was taken due to "committing electoral crimes (during the 2019 elections), such as using illegal electoral propaganda through social media, and propaganda during the electoral silence period."

He added that "it was not possible to refer others (he did not mention them) to the court for reasons related to some procedures for raising a public case related to the violator's status and to complete some research (investigations)."

According to the statement, among the persons referred to the council are "Ghannouchi and Marzouki, the head of the Qalb Tounes party, the presidential candidate for the 2019 elections, Nabil Karoui, and the former Minister of Defense Abdel Karim Zubaidi."

Among them are also, according to the statement, "former prime ministers: Youssef Al-Shahed, Elias Al-Fakhfakh, Mahdi Juma'a, and Hammadi Al-Jabali."

The court’s decision is based on the Court of Accounts report regarding the early presidential elections in 2019.

On Wednesday, Riad al-Shuaibi, an advisor to the head of the Ennahda movement, told Anadolu Agency: "Ghannouchi was not a candidate in the 2019 presidential elections, so there is no justification for directing this procedure (referral) to him."

The Court of Accounts had previously announced electoral violations committed by the President of the Republic, Qais Saied, during his campaign for the presidential elections, related to errors in the calculations and the failure to mention some issues in the bills.

Since last July 25, Tunisia has been witnessing a political crisis as a result of exceptional measures by President Kais Saied, including: freezing the powers of Parliament, lifting the immunity of its deputies, abolishing the constitutionality monitoring body, issuing legislation with presidential decrees, dismissing the prime minister and appointing new ones.

The majority of political and civil forces in Tunisia reject Said's exceptional measures, and consider them a "coup against the constitution", while other forces support them, seeing them as a "correction of the course of the 2011 revolution" that overthrew the rule of then-President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (1987-2011).

Morocco is building an air defense base near the capital  The American magazine Defense News, which specializes in defense industries, said that "satellite images show that Morocco is building a new air defense base in Sidi Yahya al-Gharb (area) 60 km northeast of the capital, Rabat. The magazine added: "We spoke to a source who declined to be named, who confirmed this to us, and refused to reveal the exact coordinates of the base's construction site, for national security reasons."  It was not immediately possible to obtain a comment from the Moroccan authorities regarding what the magazine published on its website, late Tuesday. According to the Moroccan expert in military affairs, Mohamed Choucair, "the base was built about 60 kilometers from Rabat." Choucair added, "Its main mission is to maintain the defense systems that Morocco has acquired, whether from China or Israel, and even the Patriot missile systems that Morocco will acquire from America."  And he added: “Al-Qaeda mainly function is to train in the use of defense systems, for which Morocco has developed its strategy, especially after the tensions in the region with Algeria (Morocco’s neighbor), which (the tensions) Rabat takes into account in its defense system.”  The magazine reported that Morocco purchased "the French short-range missile defense system, and signed a contract worth 226 million US dollars with the European missile manufacturer MBDA, to purchase the vertical launch system for missiles."  On December 20, the Israeli news website i24 news stated that the Moroccan army had opened a military base on an area of ​​42,000 square meters in the “Sidi Yahya al-Gharb” area. FD-2000B", with a range of 250 km.  The Defense website, which specializes in armaments and global defense news, reported that Morocco was recently able to install and activate the Chinese defense system, to be the first defense system owned by Rabat directed to addressing long-range air threats. He added that Morocco is moving to acquire other defense systems, including the American "Patriot" defense system and the Israeli "Barak 8" defense system, after it was relying only on its air forces to deal with potential threats from the air.  ANOTHER,    Morocco seeks to provide health insurance to more than 1.6 million farmers  Moroccan Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch called on the two chambers of parliament, deputies and advisers, to expedite dealing with the “National Agricultural Registry” to enable more than 1.6 million farmers with their rights to benefit from health insurance starting next year.  In his intervention on the topic of “The Green Generation Scheme and the Challenges of Rural Development and Territorial Justice” in the “Council of Advisors”, Akhannouch stated that the government gives a special priority to implementing all the requirements of the royal workshop for the generalization of social protection, and then it worked to issue the decree on the generalization of health coverage for farmers .  The Government Council also approved the law relating to the “National Agricultural Registry” and a complementary decree to organize the Ministry of Agriculture integrating the measure of social protection for farmers within its competencies. He stated that, so far, more than 857,000 farmers have been identified, especially small and medium ones

Morocco is building an air defense base near the capital


The American magazine Defense News, which specializes in defense industries, said that "satellite images show that Morocco is building a new air defense base in Sidi Yahya al-Gharb (area) 60 km northeast of the capital, Rabat.
The magazine added: "We spoke to a source who declined to be named, who confirmed this to us, and refused to reveal the exact coordinates of the base's construction site, for national security reasons."

It was not immediately possible to obtain a comment from the Moroccan authorities regarding what the magazine published on its website, late Tuesday.
According to the Moroccan expert in military affairs, Mohamed Choucair, "the base was built about 60 kilometers from Rabat."
Choucair added, "Its main mission is to maintain the defense systems that Morocco has acquired, whether from China or Israel, and even the Patriot missile systems that Morocco will acquire from America."

And he added: “Al-Qaeda mainly function is to train in the use of defense systems, for which Morocco has developed its strategy, especially after the tensions in the region with Algeria (Morocco’s neighbor), which (the tensions) Rabat takes into account in its defense system.”

The magazine reported that Morocco purchased "the French short-range missile defense system, and signed a contract worth 226 million US dollars with the European missile manufacturer MBDA, to purchase the vertical launch system for missiles."

On December 20, the Israeli news website i24 news stated that the Moroccan army had opened a military base on an area of ​​42,000 square meters in the “Sidi Yahya al-Gharb” area. FD-2000B", with a range of 250 km.

The Defense website, which specializes in armaments and global defense news, reported that Morocco was recently able to install and activate the Chinese defense system, to be the first defense system owned by Rabat directed to addressing long-range air threats.
He added that Morocco is moving to acquire other defense systems, including the American "Patriot" defense system and the Israeli "Barak 8" defense system, after it was relying only on its air forces to deal with potential threats from the air.

ANOTHER,  

Morocco seeks to provide health insurance to more than 1.6 million farmers


Moroccan Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch called on the two chambers of parliament, deputies and advisers, to expedite dealing with the “National Agricultural Registry” to enable more than 1.6 million farmers with their rights to benefit from health insurance starting next year.

In his intervention on the topic of “The Green Generation Scheme and the Challenges of Rural Development and Territorial Justice” in the “Council of Advisors”, Akhannouch stated that the government gives a special priority to implementing all the requirements of the royal workshop for the generalization of social protection, and then it worked to issue the decree on the generalization of health coverage for farmers .

The Government Council also approved the law relating to the “National Agricultural Registry” and a complementary decree to organize the Ministry of Agriculture integrating the measure of social protection for farmers within its competencies. He stated that, so far, more than 857,000 farmers have been identified, especially small and medium ones
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