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25 Aug 2022

The Observer (Uganda)

Uganda: Two arrested during protest over continued torture & killing of migrant workers in the Middle East

"Migrant workers: two arrested over protest at Saudi Embassy"

Police have arrested two members of the Torture Survivors Movement Uganda for dropping a coffin at the embassy of Saudi Arabia in Kampala. The youths were protesting the continued torture and killings of Ugandan migrant workers in the Middle East.The protest followed reported cases of torture and subsequent death, in Saudi Arabia of another Ugandan migrant worker, Caroline Kyomuhangi whose body hasn’t been returned to the country.

The group led by Sharon Kemigisha, a Woman councillor for Wandegeya Parish, loaded the coffin on a vehicle registration number UAQ 814B and stormed the Saudi embassy located in Kololo, an upscale Kampala suburb. The coffin was wrapped in Saudi flags and with placards demanding a halt to the acts of torture and murder of Ugandans in Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries...

At least 140,000 Ugandans live and work in the Middle Eastern countries, according to the Uganda Association for External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA). But many have reported being physically assaulted, sexually abused and in worst-case scenarios returned to Uganda in body bags.  In 2021 alone, 84,879 Ugandans travelled to the Middle Eastern countries of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Iraq, Bahrain, Jordan, Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Oman among others.