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This video contains violent images and descriptions including people being shot at, and dead bodies. Viewer discretion advised.

Actor’s Voices have been used to protect the identity of the people Human Rights Watch interviewed for the film.

Audio recording, Actors’ Voice:

Even when I remember, I cry. I saw a guy calling for help, he lost both his legs. He was screaming and saying, “are you leaving me here? Please don’t leave me.” We couldn’t help him because we were running for our lives.


Ethiopian migrants and asylum seekers have been tortured, injured or killed by Saudi Arabian border guards at the Yemen-Saudi border. At least hundreds have been killed trying to make this crossing between March 2022 and June 2023.

Audio recording, Actors’ Voice:

When Saudi border guards see a group, they fire continuously, when they kill everyone, they go down to collect all those who didn't die. This is what happened to me. I survived, and they came to meet me and showed me the dead. Then they took us to a detention center and beat us all there.


Human Rights Watch’s extensive investigation includes firsthand accounts from 42 people, and the verification and geolocation of over a hundred videos and photos and the analysis of hundreds of square kilometers of satellite imagery. We found evidence that Saudi border guards have used explosive weapons and shot people at close range.  In what appears to be a policy targeting migrants and asylum seekers, including women and children, at the border. Human Rights Watch believes this may amount to crimes against humanity. Saudi Arabia’s border forces should stop intentionally using lethal force, to kill Ethiopian migrants and asylum seekers with explosive weapons.

Audio recording, Actors’ Voice:

It was during the night. We were traveling towards the Saudi border. Then we saw Saudi border guards. They told us to stop. While they walked towards us, they opened fire and fired bullets at us. One bullet hit a rock and hit my leg. My leg is broken around my knee.


While many migrate for economic reasons, including drought, a number of Ethiopians have fled because of serious human rights abuses by their government, including during the recent, brutal armed conflict in northern Ethiopia.

Audio recording, Actors’ Voice:

When the firing stopped the Saudi border guards took us. In my group there were seven people, five men and two girls. The border guards made us remove our clothes and told us to rape the girls. The girls were 15 years old. One of the men refused. The border guards killed him on the spot. I participated in the rape, yes. To survive I did it. The girls survived because they didn’t refuse. This happened at the same spot where the killings took place.


This dangerous migration route, often referred to as the 'Eastern route', spans from the horn of Africa, across the Gulf of Aden,

through Yemen and into Saudi Arabia. Migrants and asylum seekers

crossing into Saudi Arabia usually do so in the mountainous border area, aided by a network of smugglers and traffickers and facilitated by the Houthi forces

who control northern Yemen.

Audio recording, Actors’ Voice:

We walked in the mountains for about five days. We walked in groups, minimum 300 people, and most of the group was female. Then there was firing from the border guards, and they were firing big rocket launchers at us. It was like a bomb.  Of the 300 people, 150 died.


Smugglers operating in Yemen take people to two informal camps before attempting to cross the border. Al Thabit camp is located northwest of the border, and Al Raqw camp has only a river separating it from Saudi Arabia. Both camps act as holding areas with thousands of people preparing to cross the border.  Many interviewees said Houthi forces controlled the entry and exit into the camps and would often extort bribes from the

migrants or transfer them to detention centers. Migrants and asylum seekers often saw Saudi border guards patrolling the crossing points in large vehicles with what witnesses described as large objects mounted on the back of their vehicles, believed to be weapons. Human Rights Watch interviewed survivors who say they lost one or more limbs due to the use of explosive weapons or shootings at the border.

Audio recording, Actors’ Voice:

The Saudi border guards were firing big things like mortars at us. They fired from the back of a truck. We lost 130 people that day, the majority were women and children.


Although the number of deaths has not been confirmed, Human Rights Watch has identified at least eight burial sites near Al Raqw camp and has counted at least 287 graves on satellite images as of June 2023.  Many have described bodies being buried in remote areas or left unburied along the route. They describe a pattern of large scale violence and cross-border killings. This video was sent to and verified by Human Rights Watch. The video shows the bodies of at least two migrants hidden under bushes just north of the trail from Al Thabit camp in Saudi Arabia. A likely Saudi border guard post is visible approximately 1.3 kilometers away from where the bodies were found. 


Humanitarian assistance and safe passage should be provided to migrants and asylum seekers trying to cross the border from Yemen to Saudi Arabia, and those responsible for what may amount to crimes against humanity should be held accountable.

  • サウジアラビアの国境警備隊は、2022年3月~2023年6月にイエメン-サウジアラビア国境を越えようとした少なくとも数百人のエチオピア人移民や庇護希望者を殺害した。
  • サウジアラビア当局者はスポーツウォッシングに何十億ドルも費やし、自国のイメージアップを図る一方で、世界の目が届かないところで何百人もの女性や子どもたちを殺害している。
  • サウジアラビアは、移民や庇護希望者に対して殺傷力を行使する政策を即刻かつ緊急に廃止すべきだ。関係国はアカウンタビリティ(説明責任)を追及し、国連は調査を実施すべきである。




A video published on TikTok on December 4, 2022 shows a group of roughly 47 migrants, 37 of whom appear to be women, walking along a steep slope inside Saudia Arabia on the trail used to cross from the migrant camp of Al Thabit. © 2022 Private








3D model of likely Saudi border guard posts and patrol roads near fences identified with satellite imagery near the migration route from the migrant camp of Al Thabit in Saada Governorate, Yemen, into Saudi Arabia. Graphic © Human Rights Watch





Location of burial sites identified on satellite imagery close to Al Raqw migrant camp.  Image: February 9, 2022. © 2023 Maxar Technologies. Source Google Earth

著名な法医学専門家からなる国際拷問被害者リハビリテーション協議会(International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims)の独立法医学専門家グループ(Independent Forensic Expert Group)のメンバーは、死傷した移民を撮影した検証済みの動画や写真を分析し、損傷の原因を調べた。その結論によれば、「熱と破片を発生させる能力をもつ弾薬の爆発と一致する明確なパターン」を示す損傷のほか、「銃創と一致する特徴」を持つ損傷や、「火傷がはっきりわかる」一例もあった。