UPDATE: Stranded OFWs in Riyadh beaten by PH embassy officials

On Day 13 of their campout, stranded OFWs inside the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh continue to experience harassment, threats and food and water blockade by embassy officials.

As of 6:00pm yesterday, KSA time, the stranded OFWs, among them women and children, were driven away from their makeshift tents inside the embassy compound. Some of them were beaten by sticks by PH embassy officials led by a certain Jimmy Harris.

Here is the link to the video of the commotion at the Riyadh campout yesterday, May 16: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=554543277921751

According to Garry Martinez, Migrante International chairperson, “Since Day 1, we have been reporting incidents of harassment, threats, the presence of goons, withholding of food, water and medicine supplies by PH embassy authorities in Riyadh. We have also reported how the PH embassy prevented supporters, and even voters and poll watchers, from entering the embassy premises. But sadly, no necessary urgent actions have been done by the Philippine government.”

Martinez condemned in strongest terms the latest incident of maltreatment of stranded OFWs in Riyadh. “Are they now resorting to physical violence just to drive away our OFWs from the embassy compound? Sa halip na tulungan, i-assist at bigyang-suporta, sinasaktan pa ang ating mga OFW,” he said.

Martinez reiterated calls of the OFWs for “free, immediate and mass repatriation”. He also echoed the demand of the OFWs for the recall of PH Ambassador to Saudi Ezzedin Tago.

Since the campouts broke out in Jeddah and Riyadh last month, stranded OFWs and their families have been demanding Tago’s recall because of his continuous negligence and lack of sympathy for the OFWs.

Martinez also called on the PH government to urgently investigate reports from the stranded OFWs of a food and water embargo by the PH embassy and the presence and harassment of goons and bodyguards. ###

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