See disturbing photos of how Saudi Arabia pack foreigners, dead and living, in tiny cells to prevent spread of Covid-19
Disturbing images of Saudi Arabia’s detention centres where hundreds of migrants and held in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and lie emaciated in sweltering cells alongside corpses have appeared in the media.
Leaked images show migrants packed into cramped cells in the searing Gulf heat and prisoners say they are ‘treated like animals’ and beaten with whips and cords with guards regularly tossing away the bodies of migrants who died of heatstroke or suicide.
One image taken on a smuggled phone shows migrants lying nearly naked on the floor of a filthy cell with dozens of people crammed into neighbouring rooms.
In another room, a corpse lay on the floor covered by a blanket after a migrant died of heatstroke – with others allegedly struggling for food and water.
‘It’s hell in here. We are treated like animals and beaten every day,’ said Abebe, a migrant from Ethiopia. ‘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.’
Others said they have received no medical treatment and that filth from the toilets was overflowing into the cells.
Human rights groups have long warned that prisons are potential disaster zones because of the possible spread of the disease in dirty, confined spaces.
According to the Sunday Telegraph, one of the prisons is in Al Shumaisi near Mecca, while another is in Jazan near the border with Yemen.
Those two alone are thought to contain hundreds of people, and there may be more prisoners in other parts of the compound.