News Brief
(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Citing the Covid-19 epidemic, Saudi Arabia, has confined hundreds of African migrants in life-threatening conditions.

Report: African Migrants Are Dying In Saudi Coronavirus Centers

The Telegraph newspaper reveals that Saudi Arabia's government is holding hundreds of African migrants hostage in squalid conditions in a supposed bid to stop the coronavirus.

"My only crime is leaving my country in search of a better life. But they beat us with whips and electric cords as if we were murderers," says one of the African migrants currently being forced to live under torturous conditions, along with hundreds of others, in a coronavirus center in Saudi Arabia. An investigative report released by The Telegraph reveals that Saudi Arabia is keeping hundreds of African migrants—many young and of Ethiopian descent—in a center set up to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.


Harrowing pictures, showing dozens of men, cramped together in various states of emaciation, taken with mobile phones were sent to The Telegraph by migrants held in these detention centers. Some other pictures showed some men revealing the welts on their backs from being beaten by the guards at the center, and a picture of a teenager who had hung himself, although unreleased, was among the fold.

In March, the government of Saudi Arabia deported nearly 3,000 Ethiopian migrant workers as it struggled to deal with the coronavirus outbreak. And while 200,000 migrants were also slated for deportation, they have since been rounded from different parts of Saudi Arabia and left to suffer under squalid conditions.

The British newspaper was able to locate two of the centers, one in Al Shumaisi, and the other in Jazan, where this act, that has been described as modern slavery, has been taking place. With some migrants said to have been in these centers for up to four months, many international human rights bodies have condemned this act from one of the world's richest nations, who can afford to house migrants in better conditions.

The Telegraph reports now that the Saudi government has responded promising to look into the issue to ensure that "If facilities are found to be lacking, their needs will be addressed appropriately." There is no excuse for human beings to be treated this way and many have taken to social media to make that point.


Music

Listen to Tems' New EP 'If Orange Was A Place'

The buzzing Nigerian is also announcing her signing to Since '93/RCA Records and her placement as Apple Music's Up Next artist.

Tems is striking while the iron's hot and sharing her new 5-song EP, If Orange Was A Place.

The new release comes a few days after she dropped its lead single, "Crazy Tings," an addictive and bounce-heavy track produced by Ghanaian beatmaker GuiltyBeatz.

If Orange Was A Place also features a single guest appearance from American singer Brent Faiyaz — who lends his vocals to "Found" — and production from Jonah Christian. It was mixed and mastered by Spax.

The new EP comes alongside the news that Tems has signed to Since '93/RCA Records and been announced as Apple Music's latest Up Next artist.

Tems has been a highly-buzzing name in the last month with her feature on Drake's Certified Lover Boy, in which she appears on the song "Fountains," and for the massive popularity of her single alongside Wizkid, "Essence," which recently got a Justin Bieber remix.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Liya Wants to Stand Out

The rising Nigerian artist, who has been crowned the 'First Lady' of Davido's DMW label, tells us about how her life has changed and details her new Alari EP.