'Tortured to death': Saudi Army kills seven Yemeni migrants trying to cross border amid UN silence
Families of the seven Yemeni migrants reveal to Al Mayadeen English who killed their sons as Ansar Allah, Saudi coalition trade blames.
Yemeni migrant Abdullah Hasan Saeed left his village in Al-Hudaydah on May 9 toward the Yemeni crossing-border of Al-Raqo to find a job in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. On May 12, his father Hasan received a call from the Republican Hospital in Saada telling him the Saudi Army has tortured and killed his son.
“A Saudi bullet in his back killed him,” Hasan, father of Abdullah, told Al Mayadeen English in a phone call. He added, “There are also signs of torture on his body.”
Abdullah, 28, is one of seven Yemeni citizens tortured and killed by the Saudi Army while on their way to the Kingdom seeking job opportunities to make a living.
Saudi Arabia launched a military aggression against Yemen in 2015 following the success of Ansar Allah popular revolution to topple the US-Saudi-backed corrupt government of Abed-Rabu Mansour Hadi.
On May 12, Al-Masirah TV, citing its reporter in Saada, reported that seven corpses of Yemeni migrants tortured and killed by the Saudi Army in the bordering area of Al-Raqo have arrived at the Republican Hospital in Saada.
- Abdullah Hasan Said, from Al-Hudaydah Province
- Abdullah Darweesh, from Al-Hudaydah Province
- Khaleel Darweesh, from Al-Hudaydah Province
- Mohammed Al-Badani, from Ibb Province.
"The Saudi soldiers have tortured several Yemeni civilians along the border area of Al-Raqo until they died, as seven bodies of civilians arrived in the Republican Hospital in Saada, bearing signs of torture by beating and electrocution," Yemeni Eye of Humanity Center For Rights and Freedoms said in a statement, pointing that the number of victims will most likely increase.
"This crime revealed the true face of this takfiri Wahhabi regime that rules Saudi Arabia and does not accept coexistence with others," the statement added.
Ahmed Abu Hamra, Director of Eye of Humanity Center For Rights and Freedoms, condemned this Saudi crime, saying, "The Saudi regime's record is full of daily crimes in the border areas."
"We have contacted all UN organizations regarding these crimes, but organizations do not take any action," he noted.
On May 13, the Saudi-led coalition in a statement published by Saudi Press Agency (SPA), said, "Ansar Allah's allegations that there are deaths in the border area of Al-Raqo, with the Saudi forces dealing with them, are untrue."
"Dozens of migrants were killed in the process of forced displacement and armed clashes launched by the Houthis," SPA reported, citing the US-backed Saudi coalition allegations in the statement.
Hasan, father of Abdullah, from Al-Marawi`ah District of the port city of Al-Hudaydah, denied the Saudi allegations and accused the Saudi Army of killing his son Abdullah. "He was killed by a Saudi bullet over a Saudi territory off Al-Raqo area."
Asked what job Abdullah was seeking in the Kingdom, he replied, "He used to work in restaurants."
Yemeni Ministry of Health said on May 12 in a statement that the torture and killing of the seven Yemeni citizens is “a full-fledged crime and a grave violation of international and humanitarian law...”
“The coalition continues to shed Yemeni blood by various means, whether by airstrikes, rocket-propelled grenades and artillery, or torture till death,” it added.
The Ministry also called on the United Nations to hold the Saudi-led coalition accountable for war crimes and to refer these crimes to the International Criminal Court.
Hasan Saeed said his son Abdullah was married and the father of a 3-year-old boy and a 40-day-old baby girl.
“The whole family is mourning his death,” Hasan told Al Mayadeen English. “He was working to feed his sons and five other brothers and sisters.”
Mohammed Ali, a neighbor of Abdullah, said the entire village is mourning the death of Abdullah.
“He was very kind to all who knew him,” Ali told Al Mayadeen English.
“The UN has been covering the Saudi atrocities against Yemenis and the international community should put an end to this discrimination against Yemenis,” Ali cried out.
Tortured to death
Khaleel Darweesh had spent two years in the Saudi Kingdom gathering money to get married. In 2021, he returned home to Yemen to get married. Now his wife is pregnant in the second month, his brother Hamed said.
After Eid Al-Fitr, Khaleel Darweesh, his brother Hamed, and cousin Abdullah Darweesh left Al Marawi`ah District of Al-Hudaydah toward Al-Raqo crossing border aiming to return to the Kingdom.
However, Khaleel and his cousin Abdullah decided to cross the border on May 11, leaving behind Hamed in Al-Raqo market, and they were captured and tortured to death by the Saudi Army using water and electricity.
“They weren’t killed in clashes with Ansar Allah, as the Saudi coalition claimed,” Hamed told Al Mayadeen English.
“They were peaceful migrants carrying nothing other than food and water,” the 32-year-old Hamed explained.
Hamed survived the torture because he said he didn’t travel with Khaleel and Abdullah on the night of May 11 and remained at Al-Raqo market until the second day.
Hamed received the news of migrants being tortured to death on May 12 and went to look, but found his brother Khaleel and cousin Abdullah amongst the tortured migrants.
“I found their frozen bodies,” Hamed told Al Mayadeen English of his brother and cousin. “I wish they were killed by bullets rather than being tortured to death.”
“I will never try again entering the kingdom of torture and terrorism,” Hamed told Al Mayadeen English when asked if he plan to return to the Kingdom as a survivor. “It is the Kingdom of barbarism, and the UN is silent about Saudi crimes against Yemeni migrants.”