Saudi Arabia: Unwelcome “guests”: the plight of Iraqi refugees

Index Number: MDE 23/001/1994

Over the past three years, AI has received numerous complaints of human rights violations committed with total impunity by authorities in the camps holding thousands of Iraqi refugees since the end of the Gulf War. These include arbitrary detention, torture, flogging, possible killings and forcible return of refugees to Iraq. Various forms of collective punishment have been used against the refugees, particularly in response to protests about conditions in the camp. This report gives background information about the Artawiyya and Rafha refugee camps and goes on to describe AI’s human rights concerns. It concludes that, although the Saudi Arabian authorities have stressed the large amounts of money spent on the camps and refer to the refugees as “welcome guests”, the Iraqi refugees have in fact been subjected to unacceptable treatment.

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