One dead, nine injured in Saudi deportation riot
A file photo from November, 2013 shows scores of illegal workers in Saudi queuing up after the government crackdown on expats. (AFP/File)
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An illegal expat worker died and nine others were wounded when police intervened to quell “chaos” at Al-Shumaisi Deportation Center on the outskirts of Jeddah, police said on Monday.
“Workers from different nationalities caused commotion in protest against delay in the processing of their deportation procedures. They tried to attack officers and cause mayhem inside their cells,” said Makkah Police spokesman Lt. Col. Ati Al-Qurashi.
Security officers had to step in to control the chaos. About nine were hurt and one of them died as a result of pushing and shoving, Al-Qurashi was quoted as saying.
All the injured were taken to hospital while security officers had been put on alert at the deportation center.
The authorities said last year they would no longer tolerate visa irregularities which had caused a black market in cheap foreign labor.
While many of those targeted in the crackdown entered the country legally but later broke the terms of their residence permits by changing jobs, many others were smuggled across the border or came as pilgrims and did not return home.
Police have been cracking down on illegal migrants since the expiration in early November of a seven-month amnesty during which they had to regularize their status or leave the country.
More than 307,000 illegal migrants have been expelled since the start of the campaign.
Nearly a million migrants from various countries took advantage of the amnesty to leave voluntarily, while another four million were able to find employers to sponsor them.
Expatriates account for a full nine million of the Kingdom’s population of 27 million.