Urgent alert: Saudi police arrest stranded OFWs in Riyadh

Migrante Partylist condemns in strongest terms the arrest and detention of stranded OFWs who staged a campout protest today at the PH Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

200 undocumented OFWs staged their protest today, 70 are women with 10 children, taking cue from the ongoing campout protest being done by stranded OFWs at the Tent City in Jeddah. (Please see attached photos)

Like those at the Jeddah Tent City, the OFWs are also calling for free, immediate and mass repatriation by the Aquino government. Since the Tent City broke out, not one OFW has been repatriated by the Philippine government.

According to reports from Migrante-Riyadh, the OFWs were holding their peaceful protest outside the PH post compound when Riyadh POLO Case Officer Abdullah Umpa arrived with the Saudi police.

“It was Umpa who pinpointed to the Saudi police who to arrest. Imbes na harapin ng gobyerno ang ating mga OFW sila pa mismo ang nagpaaresto sa kanila. Traydor ang gobyernong ito sa mismong mamamayan niya!” said Garry Martinez, Migrante Partylist 2nd Nominee and Migrante International Chairperson.

All those arrested are men and leaders of the OFWs, namely, Lyndon Salonga, Juan Carlos and Jon Jon de Vera. As of this posting, it is not yet known where the Saudi police took them.

The arrests came in the wake of the successful three-day Solidarity Campout held by families of stranded OFWs at the Tent City and promises declared by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to ensure the protection and welfare of stranded OFWs in light of the Saudi crackdowns.

“Ito ba ang hinihintay ng goberyong Aquino? Ang tuluyan nang mapahamak ang ating mga kababayan sa Saudi? Heads must roll, those responsible for their arrests should be held accountable, Martinez said.

As of this posting, the OFWs are resolved to maintain their campout. More are expected to join the campout, according to the OFWs. ###