Skip to main content

Video claims to show Saudi border guards beating Yemeni refugees

Footage said to be from the Saudi Arabia-Yemen border appears to show thousands of Yemeni refugees being refused entry to the kingdom
A Saudi soldier looks through binoculars from a position at al-Dokhan, on the Saudi-Yemeni border (AFP)

Video published to Twitter on Monday appears to show border guards in Saudi Arabia beating Yemeni refugees while barring thousands of them from entering the Gulf kingdom.

Dutch journalist Sakir Khader said he obtained the footage from sources at the Wadia border crossing, in Yemen’s south-east province of Hadramout, although Middle East Eye was not immediately able to verify this.

Khader posted five short clips to Twitter over the course of Sunday and Monday morning, all of which appear to show thousands of stranded refugees attempting to flee the conflict in Yemen.

In one clip, guards dressed in Saudi uniforms can be seen beating refugees.

Another video shows huge crowds of people, who Khader said were Yemeni refugees, being refused entry to Saudi Arabia.

A Saudi-led coalition has been bombing Yemen since March, with the aim of pushing back the advance of Houthi rebels and reinstating exiled President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, who is currently residing in Riyadh.

Fierce on-the-ground fighting has pitched the Houthis, who are supported by Iran, and troops loyal to ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh against elements of the army allied with Hadi and other military groups opposed to the Houthi takeover.

The violence has deepened what was already a severe humanitarian crisis in Yemen - up to 20 million of the country’s 24 million people now require some form of assistance.

Refugees have fled the country, some out of airports and others via a dangerous journey on boats to the horn of Africa.

The Saudi-Yemen border, which is difficult to access for media outlets, has received scant coverage, despite there being reports of numerous attacks on Saudi territory by Houthi forces.

The border has long been a troublesome one for Saudi Arabia, which announced in 2013 that it was constructing a three-metre high 1,800 kilometre fence along the entirety of its long frontier with Yemen. It is not clear how much of the fence has been built, which Saudi authorities said was being constructed to keep out immigrants and weapons smugglers.