Archive for May 20th, 2012

20/05/2012

Thousands of African Refugees Face Shocking Levels of Violence by Smugglers

Human Wrongs Watch

Geneva – A record number of African migrants fled to Yemen this year, with 43,000 people having reached the Middle Eastern country in only four months, the UN refugee agency reports.

Somali refugees wait on Yemen’s Red Sea coast for transport to Aden. Photo: UNHCR/R.Nuri

“All those who had decided to make the crossing exposed themselves to extreme risks and dangers at every stage of their journey,” a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Andrej Mahecic, said.

“They faced shocking levels of abuse and violence by smugglers, as well as arbitrary arrests and detention, closed borders and forced returns, trafficking, lack of access to shelter, water, food or medical assistance,” he added.

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