[QODLink]
Middle East

Saudi police clash with foreign workers

Two people killed and scores injured in riots in Riyadh as kingdom cracks down on illegal foreign workers, police say.

Last updated: 10 Nov 2013 04:55
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

At least two people died and scores were injured as Saudi police clashed with foreigners in a poor district of Riyadh, nearly a week into a visa crackdown in which thousands have been detained.

Security forces in riot gear fired into the air and used truncheons to disperse large crowds on Saturday in Manfuhah, as scores of men ran through the streets, some throwing stones and other objects at cars and police, according to Reuters witnesses.

The Saudi police said late on Saturday that two people were killed, one of which was a Saudi while the other was unidentified. The police added that 68 people were injured, and 561 people arrested.

Most of the foreign workers involved in the clashes appeared to be Africans.

In some streets in Manfuhah, men in Saudi dress had also gathered in small groups, some of them carrying knives and iron bars, saying they were protecting their property.

Migrant campaign

Authorities this year said they would no longer ignore foreign workers breaking visa rules by working for companies that had not sponsored their entry into the country

The intention is to end a black market for cheap imported workers, cut the foreign labour force, reduce the flow of remittances to other countries and make more private sector jobs available for Saudi citizens.

Foreigners were given a seven-month amnesty to rectify their visa status without penalty or leave the country, prompting hundreds of thousands to leave. Thousands more have been arrested since the amnesty expired on Monday.

On Wednesday, an Ethiopian was killed in a raid after he tried to grab a policeman's weapon, the Arab News English-language daily reported on Friday.

Many expatriate workers say they were unable to take advantage of the amnesty because of bureaucratic difficulties or disputes with their original sponsors.

297

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The conservative UMP party suffers from crippling internal divisions and extreme debt from mismanagement.
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
join our mailing list