Saudi Arabia and Yemeni Employment: More like A Slavery Regime
Interviewed By Yehya Salahuddin
Sanaa - The Undersecretary of the Yemeni Ministry of Expatriates, Ali al-Maamari, reported on the suffering of Yemeni expatriates at land ports with Saudi Arabia, stressing that the Saudi authorities have been holding Yemeni travelers and departures under false pretexts for a long period of time with the intention of humiliation and insult.
Many of the expatriate travelers spend long days without being allowed to enter their country.
One of the most important arguments taken by the Saudi authorities is to prevent the exit of four-wheel drive vehicles under the pretext of using them on the battlefronts. Knowing that most of these vehicles are released under the Turbek system, which imposes guarantees that the vehicle will return to Saudi territory within a period of three months. However, the Saudi authorities violate the rights of the expatriate in defiance of his Yemeni nationality, which is incompatible with human rights. After a long period of suffering that sometimes extends to several months, they allow the passage of those vehicles, the majority of which carry children and women, to be regarded as "royal honors."
In an exclusive interview with “Al-Ahed News”, al-Maamari explained that the Saudi authorities have deprived the Yemeni expatriate from practicing his profession, suspended the renewal of licenses of more than 28 professions, and applied “Saudization” on jobs in 12 sectors, which means that only Saudis could work there. These sectors include: car and bicycle shops, ready-to-wear shops, home and office furniture shops, home appliances shops, electrical and electronic appliances, building materials and desserts.
Given that the vast majority of Yemeni workers in Saudi Arabia work in these sectors, all of these decisions targeted Yemeni workers directly and restricted the expatriates’ livelihood. Knowing that many Yemenis in Saudi Arabia own shops of all kinds, real estate and other properties that are officially registered in the name of the Saudi sponsor, and the right-holder expatriate is merely a worker for his sponsor. This tempts many Saudis to seize the property of expatriates and fabricate malicious charges to be deported and imprisoned without taking into account any humanitarian aspects.
On the sponsorship system imposed by the Saudi regime on expatriates, al-Maamari pointed out that the sponsorship system in Saudi Arabia is an ugly form of slavery, which contradicts the most basic human rights and human and legal norms. This system allows the sponsor to be responsible and in control of the movement of the expatriate or the migrant in general, and he can exercise all kinds of injustice and persecution against the expatriate. In case of any disagreement between the sponsor and the guarantor, the expatriate is maliciously reported and imprisoned or forcibly deported to his country after seizing all of his financial rights.
Regarding the possibility of the expatriate or the migrant, in general, to resort to the courts in Saudi Arabia, al-Maamari noted that the decisions and orders issued by the Saudi authorities in this field make any case submitted to the court, doomed to failure in advance. After all, the decisions of the Saudi authorities legitimize such violations when the migrant is under the mercy of the sponsor, and all his property and rights are subjected to the sponsor's conscience.
Al-Maamari revealed in his interview with “Al-Ahed News” that the Saudi authorities impose arbitrary fees on expatriates with the intention of ending the future of Yemeni workers in Saudi Arabia. As the Saudi authorities issued a while ago, specifically in 2017, decisions included imposing new fees on expatriate workers, so that each worker must pay an amount of 1,200 SAR in one payment and the same for each accompanying member of his family. The amount is doubled in the following, third and fourth year, so that the amount to be handed over from each individual would be 4800 SAR per year.
Although expatriates pay for to illegal fees such as renewal of sponsorship, residence, and health insurance, they still don’t have access to health services in government hospitals. This increases the suffering of the expatriate and crushing him just because he is a Yemeni.