African migrants tortured

DUBAI: Migrants making their way from the Horn of Africa to Yemen are frequently abducted and tortured by “criminal gangs”, the UN Migration Agency warned yesterday. Despite a war that has killed thousands and pushed Yemen to the brink of famine, some 6,000 migrants enter the country every month, according to the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM). They often come from Ethiopia and Somalia, hoping to make their way overland to the more prosperous Gulf countries to find work. Many are abducted by criminal gangs upon arrival in Yemen and tortured for ransom, according to IOM. “A common technique is to call the migrant’s family while allowing burning plastic from an empty water bottle (to) drip on a migrant’s skin causing burns and excruciating pain,” said IOM director general William Lacy Swing.

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