Saudi Arabia to release 1,000 Ethiopian prisoners

Ethiopian immigrants returning from Saudi Arabia arrive at Addis Ababa's Bole International Airport in this December 10, 2013 photo. Hundreds of thousands of undocumented Ethiopians were sent home in 2013 but they have apparently been replaced by new arrivals in the succeeding years. (AFP file photo)
Updated 20 May 2018
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Saudi Arabia to release 1,000 Ethiopian prisoners

  • Hundreds of thousands of undocumented Ethiopian migrants were repatriated from Saudi Arabia in 2013.
  • Officials in Riyadh are in the process of deporting more than 500,000 Ethiopian migrants this year.

ADDIS ABABA: Saudi Arabia has agreed to release 1,000 Ethiopian nationals who have been in prison in the Gulf state for a variety of offenses, Ethiopian state-affiliated media said on Saturday.

The decision was made following a request by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who was in Riyadh on an official visit this week, Fana Broadcasting Corporation reported.

The agency said among the detainees were 100 women. It did not disclose what the charges were. Hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian nationals live in the Gulf region, mostly in Saudi Arabia.

Officials in Riyadh are in the process of deporting more than 500,000 undocumented Ethiopian migrants.

So far, 160,000 have arrived back in the Horn of Africa country.

During his recent visit to Riyadh, Ahmed met with leaders of Ethiopian community and discussed setting up a strong partnership between the government and the community to address challenges they are facing.

The trip is his first outside Africa after three visits to neighbouring countries. The East African nation secured thousands of exit visas for its nationals and flew them back home.

Established diplomatic relations in 1948, Saudi Arabia is among the first Arab countries to open embassy in Addis Ababa. 


Women pit themselves against male drivers in Saudi Arabia’s Formula E race

Updated 35 min 48 sec ago
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Women pit themselves against male drivers in Saudi Arabia’s Formula E race

  • The Rookie Test will take place on December 16 at the newly transformed ancient site into Formula E race track
  • The list consists of a varied group of up-and-coming talent along with well-known faces

DUBAI: Women drivers will compete against male counterparts in Formula E’s “Rookie Test” for up and coming drivers after the inaugural Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix race on December 15.

The Rookie Test will take place on December 16 at the newly transformed ancient site into Formula E race track, the Kingdom’s General sports authority said.

Female drivers will line up against male rivals on the grid to take part in the official in-season test for the forthcoming season of the FIA ABB Formula E Championship.

The list consists of a varied group of up-and-coming talent along with well-known faces, including the first Emirati female racing driver, Amna Al-Qubaisi.

Al-Qubaisi has had a steep progression in her career so far, starting karting aged 13, and going on to win the UAE Rotax Max Challenge Championship before more recently competing in Formula 4 with Prema Theodore Racing.

“I'm very proud to be representing women in general and Arabian women in particular. This test drive is another stepping-stone towards my dream of a professional career in motorsports and thanks to the continuous support of Kaspersky Lab, this dream will eventually come true,” Al-Qubaisi said.

Saudi Princess Haifa bint Mohammed bin Saud, Secretary General of the organizing committee for the race, said: “Through the increased participation in and hosting of world-class sports within Vision 2030, we want to inspire the young people of Saudi Arabia towards greater achievement and taking an active role in every part of life.”