Le mauvais traitement infligé aux Rohingya par le régime birman a beaucoup ému la communauté internationale. Assez curieusement, ces musulmans qui ont dû s’exiler pour échapper aux persécutions subissent aussi un mauvais traitement en Arabie Saoudite (moins meurtrier il est vrai), mais le comportement du régime saoudien semble moins émouvoir les journalistes et les associations qui se sont intéressées au sort des victimes sur le sol birman. Pourtant, les informations qui percent sont inquiétantes.
On recommandera tout particulièrement aux lecteurs français de se plonger dans le très beau reportage récit consacré à la question par le Middle East Eye, sous le titre « Trapped ». Nous reproduisons ici un extrait éloquent du sort réservé à ces réfugiés par le régime salafiste de Ryad.
Rashid worked for nearly a year at odd jobs to pay off the smugglers, then in November 2013 flew out of Chittagong, Bangladesh’s second biggest city, for Saudi Arabia.
His problems began the moment he landed in Jeddah. The broker had given him an umrah visa, issued to Muslims for a lesser non-obligatory pilgrimage to Mecca. It’s a common tactic, used to make Rohingya look less suspicious to the authorities.
But Bangladeshi passports, like other South Asian passports, are confiscated on arrival in Saudi Arabia. The authorities say it’s to prevent pilgrims from certain countries from working illegally. It leaves Rohingya arrivals without any identity in the kingdom, forcing them to live in the shadows for lower wages, at greater risk of exploitation and in constant danger of capture by immigration police.
“Each day would be a blessing,” says Rashid, who found work in a factory. “We would be in a constant state of tension, unsure when our last day would be. We would spend all day working inside and then sleep on the floor in the same room. It isn’t a way to live.”
Then, one night in April 2015, the Saudi police stormed the factory. “There was just so much shouting. People were running everywhere panicking. It caught us all by surprise.”
Such raids against illegal migrants increased after then-Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef launched the “Homeland Without Illegal Expats” campaign in March 2017 to track, detain, and deport individuals who live illegally in Saudi Arabia.
MEE has also obtained evidence from Rohingya living inside Saudi Arabia of undercover Saudi immigration police raiding Rohingya communities disguised as locals.
“The Saudi immigration police has upped their campaign against illegal workers in the last few years,” a Rohingya activist who wished to remain anonymous told MEE from Jeddah. “They come undercover, wearing no uniform and arrest those without documents. Many Rohingya get caught as they run away without anything to their name. The raids have created an atmosphere of further fear for the undocumented Rohingya living in Saudi.” Activists used encrypted apps like Signal and Whatsapp due to fears of reprisal from local Saudi authorities.
“No one saw it coming,” says Rashid as he recalled being handcuffed and led to a police van. “The moment they put the handcuffs on me I just wanted to melt away. All this effort to come to Saudi. How would I provide for my family now?”
Il ne serait pas inutile que les ONG s’intéressent un peu à cette question.