Yemen is a poor nation at the tip of the Arabian peninsula which suffers the indignity of not having oil in the quantities available to its neighbor. A group of Yemen men walked through the sands in order to seek emploment in Saudi cities on their border. It appears they were caught by Saudi police and 18 were severely burned while seeking shelter in a hole. Darweesg Salloumm, who was among the group, said the incident took place a month ago. ‘We dug a hole to hide ourselves from the Saudi police…We hid in the hole and didn’t think the police would come to the hole. When the policemen arrived, they poured diesel over the straw covering the hole and set it on fire.” The 18 burnt men were taken to the police station, not to a hospital, and interrogated by police even as they cried in pain.
The victims were finally taken to a hosptial where Filipino doctors changed their bandages every four days which made the burns become worse. Finally, they were returned to the police station and given a choice, sign a statement saying nothing was done to you or remain in Saudi Arabia and die. They signed the statement and went home.
The Saudi police deny every aspect of the story told by the Yemen immigrants. Of course, the Yemen immigrants should look at the bright side, at least they weren’t beheaded in Saudi Arabia.