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    » 10/07/2010, 00.00

    PHILIPPINES - SAUDI ARABIA

    Saudi Arabia: conditional release for 12 Filipinos accused of proselytizing



    The Catholic migrants are currently in the custody of their employers at the disposition of authorities. Saudi religious police (Muttawa) arrested them last October 1 for taking part in a Mass celebrated by a French priest. 150 other foreign Catholics were with them, whose fate remains unknown.

    Manila (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Saudi authorities have conditionally released the Catholic Filipino migrant worker arrested on 1 October in Riyadh along with 11 other compatriots - released Oct. 3 -, while attending a Mass along with 150 foreigners celebrated by a French priest. At present, the 12 Filipinos have been entrusted to their employers and representatives of the embassy in Manila in Saudi Arabia are negotiating with the authorities for their repatriation. The fate of the others present at the Catholic mass remains unknown.

    According Exxedin H. Tago, charge d'affaires of the Philippines Embassy the 12 are not yet completely out of danger. "It is still unclear - he says - if their case was closed. They were accused of proselytizing and if the authorities deem them guilty they could return to jail”.

    Saudi Arabia forbids the construction of churches, and other non-Muslim temples, the wearing of religious symbols, or hanging of images in homes. The religious police (Muttawa) has tightened controls to impose these laws. Only rarely does the government allow the celebration of Mass in private. The availability of work, however, continues to attract migrants who put up with terrible working conditions, the risk of forced conversions and sexual abuse.

    In early September, a Filipino nurse employed at the Kharja Hospital died in hospital after being raped and left dying in the desert by her rapists. Two weeks later, again in Riyadh, three nurses in the National Guard Hospital were abducted and raped while returning from work and are now in serious condition.

    A total of 8 million foreigners live and work in the kingdom. According to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) from 2007 to 2008, migration to the Middle East has seen an increase of 29.5%.
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    See also

    22/02/2010 PHILIPPINES - SAUDI ARABIA
    Catholic migrant in Saudi Arabia: Three years without a day of rest and mass
    In the Islamic country there is no freedom of religion. In order to keep her faith alive the woman took refuge in her room to pray. Filipino bishops call on the faithful to pray and reflect on the plight of workers abroad.

    05/06/2010 PHILIPPINES - SAUDI ARABIA
    Filipino nurses in Riyadh against the centre of assistance to migrants: they have abandoned us
    Head of Overseas Workers Employment Assistance Administration in Riyadh under accusation. Instead of helping abused nurses he demands they return to work. The 30 women were repatriated in March and worked for Annasbah, a Riyadh company known for ongoing abuses against employees. Now fears for the fate of 30 other companions still blocked in the Saudi capital.

    06/08/2016 14:53:00 PHILIPPINES – SAUDI ARABIA
    Manila to rescue 20,000 Filipino migrant workers going hungry in Saudi Arabia

    The government plans to bring humanitarian and legal assistance, and find a way to repatriate its citizens. Due to the decline in oil prices, migrant workers have not been paid for months, forced to beg and sift through garbage to survive.



    31/03/2005 SAUDI ARABIA
    Police razes clandestine Hindu temple in Riyadh, deports three people


    05/11/2013 SAUDI ARABIA - PHILIPPINES
    Thousands of Filipino migrants treated "like animals" by Saudi authorities
    More than 6,700 Filipino workers are detained across the country. The first who returned home tell stories of violence and abuses by police. On Sunday, Riyadh began its crackdown on undocumented immigrants. The step was supposed to begin last January but was suspended until now to allow workers to apply for amnesty.



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