Ethiopians mobilize for unprecedented social media movement
By Befekir Kebede
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 19:54
Ethiopians across the world are mobilizing to organize an unprecedented social media movement aimed at stopping a well-documented and widespread abuse of Ethiopian migrants in Saudi Arabia.
A captivating exchange of information and ideas is unfolding by the hour, using such social media websites as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The exchange of information includes graphic photos and videos of Ethiopians being tortured at the hands of the Saudi police and vigilantes in the streets of Riyadh and other Saudi states.
Disturbing images of Ethiopian bodies covered in blood lying on the ground have also been posted on social media sites sparking outrage, anger and unprecedented campaign to try and raise awareness about the atrocities being committed.
The victims themselves have documented some of the violent incidents on their mobile phones and talked about how Ethiopian citizens in Saudi Arabia are subjected to robbery, torture, rape and murder.
The violent and extrajudicial killings and gross violations of human rights of Ethiopian migrants in Saudi Arabia followed the expiry of a seven-month amnesty period requiring migrant workers to gain legal status.
It is understood that many Ethiopian migrant workers have been tortured, beaten and beheaded to death and their violent deaths filmed by their Saudi killers.
Thousands of Ethiopians are now apprehended in secret prisons and remote detention camps in Saudi Arabia facing further torture and an uncertain future.
While the social media campaign is widening and continues to gain momentum, a series of protests involving thousands of Ethiopian expatriate have been held outside Saudi Arabia embassies around the world.
So far, protests have been held in many US and Canadian states, Ireland, South Korea, Australia, England, Finland, Norway, Germany and Israel. More protests are being organized for the days ahead.
But today, with the release of a YouTube video by an aspiring Ethiopian writer reading the poem that she wrote, which she dedicates to the victims of the Saudi Government’s brutality, the social media campaign reached new and high heights.
Samrawit Tessema is deeply saddened by the mistreatment of Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia and their apparent loss of human dignity, which she says is driven by “insanity”.
More than anything, Samrawit's touchy poem is a heartfelt appeal on the Saudi Government to stop, on the Ethiopian Government to help, on the media to report, on human rights organizations to expose and on the world to come to its senses.
Below is Samrawit’s video and we have also included the lyrics to the poem under the video.
It all started in the sand,
Of that desert, that was his dwelling place,
Opening to a forgotten land,
Where they buried the human race,
Our Emperor met that man,
The Saudi Arabia King took composure,
King Haile Selassie made a ground plan,
To respect our people or else would be exposure.
It was agreed that no Ethiopian kids would be beheaded,
Mentioned in the Quran, they knew,
That such a land could not be infected,
And if they tried they would get corrupted.
Fast forward to today, what do you see?
They go in thousands, they are reluctant to seize,
Nothing more than to help their families,
Unknowingly, they stand and freeze.
Look at them now,
They kill them,
They torture them,
They chop every pieces of their bodies
They stgand in groups and watch them,
They laugh at them,
And worst, they film them.
They wish to keep this brutality,
As a memory,
They laugh at every knockout,
They don't know about.
Oh! But you see,
Those killers and betrayers own your land,
Enriching themselves with plantations,
Using our crops, starving our nation.
I am astounded at humans to lose their dignity,
Over empowerment and greed,
I am astounded at the media for not mentioning,
That a country out there is violating,
The principle shown in this abhorrence,
By which this country operates,
Does not work in accordance,
By letting them disobey.
I ask for you to help,
Share your thought and pray,
For those who are abandoned,
Who are all left astray.
Thousands are imprisoned and raped as we speak,
20 dead bodies, it has begun,
Beaten to death and left on the streets,
They are done.
My heart cries to you Mamaye,
Words are not enough for me to describe those wicked minded men,
Nourishing themselves and using our names,
Killing in front of children, parenting slap.
I ask to you for help,
I ask to every citizen to realize the hate,
Made from this brutality,
Driven by insanity.
Imagine it was your daughter they pointed a gun to,
In front of thousands, crying all the way through,
Imagine it was your son they made a grave for,
Reminiscing at the past, they want more.
What happened to humanity?
And human compassion?
What happened to sanity?
In all its glory?
We are all humans and share the same equality,
Driven by our ancestors, letting go of slavery.
For God’s Sake, we are in the 21st Century,
Shouldn't we prevent such atrocities?
Where is our government in this time of sorrow?
Where is our help when we need it?
Where is the Humans Right, everything is corrupted,
You need to help those who are neglected.
---------- Ends -----------------
As part of the growing spontaneous response by various Ethiopians to the atrocities being committed in Saudi Arabia, young Ethiopian musician Jacky Gosee has also released a new single, dedicating it to the victims and to those Ethiopians living far from home, deprived of their freedom and their human dignity.
Here is the song: