Saudi authorities have deported more than 12,000 people to Somalia since January 1, 2014, including hundreds of women and children, without allowing any to make refugee claims. Saudi Arabia should end the summary deportations, which risk violating its international obligations not to return anyone to a place where their life or freedom is threatened or where they face other serious harm.
Seven Somalis recently deported from Saudi Arabia told Human Rights Watch researchers in Mogadishu, the Somali capital, that the Saudi authorities had detained them for weeks in appalling conditions and some said Saudi security personnel beat them. None had been allowed to speak with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to discuss possible refugee claims before being deported. UNHCR said in mid-January that “south central Somalia is a very dangerous place.” UNHCR also said the Saudi authorities have denied its staff access to detained Somalis in the country.
Photo: Sadiyo, a Somali woman, told Human Rights Watch that while awaiting deportation in the Jeddah airport, a police officer struck her in the back with a baton. Sadiyo was nine-months pregnant and gave birth on the flight back to Somalia. The Saudi authorities have deported at least 12,000 people to Somalia since January 2014 without allowing any to make refugee claims. Mogadishu, Somalia. February 8, 2014. © 2014 Samer Muscati /Human Rights Watch.
“Spelling Bee Runs Out Of Words” is my pick for headline of the week.
The AP reports that after 66 rounds, a Missouri county bee had run through all the words provided by the Scripps National Spelling Bee as well as 20 additional words officials picked out during lunch – and they still didn’t have a winner.
Badass spellers Sophia Hoffman and Kush Sharma will have to face off again on March 8 to decide who will move on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in May.