„Migrants say Houthi militias that control northern Yemen are brutally forcing them out of their territory and into dangerous situations.“ NYT berichtete am 28.06. über die Situation der Migrant*innen auf der Durchreise im Jemen, deren Situation sich im Norden des Jemen dramatisch verschlechtert hat. Die Behandlung der Migrant*innen ähnelt denen in den libyschen Folterzentren. Der Bericht der NYT beruht auf 6 Telefon-Interviews mit Migrant*innen, die sich derzeit in saudi-arabischer Haft befinden.
Five years of war between the Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition propping up Yemen’s government have ransacked the country, the poorest in the Middle East, starving and killing its people and smashing the door open to a mounting coronavirus outbreak.
Not only Yemeni civilians are caught in the crossfire. Humanitarian officials and researchers say the African migrant workers who traverse Yemen every year endure torture, rape, extortion, bombs and bullets in their desperation to get to Saudi Arabia. This spring, when the pandemic made them convenient scapegoats for Yemen’s troubles, they lost even that slender hope.
“Covid is just one tragedy inside so many other tragedies that these migrants are facing,” said Afrah Nasser, a Yemen researcher at Human Rights Watch.
More than 100,000 Ethiopians, Somalis and other East Africans board overstuff smugglers’ boats across the Red Sea or the Gulf of Aden to Yemen every year, according to the United Nations, hoping to make their way north to support their families with jobs as domestic servants, animal herders or laborers in the wealthy gulf countries whose economies depend on migrants.
The journey is murderous at every stage. At sea, smugglers withhold water and food and throw uncooperative passengers overboard; in Yemen, the migrants are at the mercy of traffickers who torture and sexually abuse them, demanding huge sums of money from their impoverished families to buy their freedom, according to the United Nations, Human Rights Watch and other groups, as well as interviews with migrants.
United Nations surveys show that most migrants do not know about the fighting in Yemen before they arrive, but crossfire and coalition airstrikes find them anyway. At border crossings, Saudi guards shoot and kill them, littering what the migrants call “slaughter valleys” with bodies, migrants and humanitarian officials say. Those who survive are often detained by the Saudi authorities and deported.