Jeddah rioters being investigated -


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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Jeddah rioters being investigated

The Al-Kandarah police station in Jeddah has launched an investigation into the cases of 20 expatriates of Ethiopian and Pakistani descent who were arrested for instigating the riots that recently took place in Jeddah.

The riots, which led to the closure of Al-Sitteen Street in Jeddah, started when several illegal expatriates took to the streets with staffs and sticks, obstructing traffic and vandalizing cars. 

The rioters have been charged with violating the Kingdom’s laws, which prohibit gathering without prior government permission. The illegal expatriates were also arrested for possession of sharp objects and assaulting citizens and residents. 

Investigations are set to take place prior to the transfer of their files to the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution.

Ethiopians residing in Jeddah, meanwhile, denounced the conduct of their fellow nationals who violated the Kingdom’s labor laws, characterizing their behavior as unacceptable. 

“The Kingdom has hosted them and their families and has allowed them to live with dignity; their behavior is intolerable. The Kingdom has the right to regulate its labor market and to maintain its security just like any other country,” said Yousif Bajazi, an Ethiopian expatriate living in Jeddah.

Mousa Dardeir, another Ethiopian expatriate, said: “The Kingdom gave expatriates sufficient time to correct their status so they should have taken advantage of the amnesty period. This is no way to react to their situation.”

Reporters from the local media met with some of the arrested rioters who expressed their regret. 

Mohammed Hassan, one of the expatriates who was arrested for his involvement in the riots, said he took to the streets thinking it would accelerate his repatriation home.

Hassan called on members of his community to respect the Kingdom’s laws and not get carried away with the behavior of other lawless individuals. 

“I saw some expatriates carrying sticks and standing in the streets and they told me this would speed up their return home, so I joined them. I didn’t realize the situation would deteriorate to that level. I have made matters worse for myself now,” said Ishtiyaq Hussein, another arrested expatriate. 

The Northern Province police station said 75 rioters have been referred to the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution. The demonstrations in Al-Azeziyah damaged 14 vehicles and caused numerous injuries.

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