“Tigrayan migrants who have experienced horrific abuse in Saudi custody are being locked up in detention facilities upon returning to Ethiopia,” said Nadia Hardman, refugee and migrant rights researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Officials in Ethiopia have arbitrarily detained and forcibly disappeared thousands of ethnic Tigrayans who recently were deported from Saudi Arabia, a new Human Rights Watch report says as the country’s deadly Tigray conflict continues, AP reports.

This is the latest report citing witnesses who have described mass arrests of ethnic Tigrayans. Ethiopia’s government says it is targeting people suspected of supporting the Tigray forces who have fought the government since November 2020 but pulled back into their region weeks ago.

“Tigrayan migrants who have experienced horrific abuse in Saudi custody are being locked up in detention facilities upon returning to Ethiopia,” said Nadia Hardman, refugee and migrant rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Saudi Arabia should offer protection to Tigrayans at risk, while Ethiopia should release all arbitrarily detained Tigrayan deportees.”

The report released Wednesday called on Saudi officials to “stop holding ethnic Tigrayans in abhorrent conditions and deporting them to Ethiopia, and instead help the United Nations high commissioner for refugees to provide them with international protection.”

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