Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Monday, April 13, 2015
Ethiopian in S.Africa anti-foreigner violence dies
PUBLISHED: 19:41 GMT, 12 April 2015 | UPDATED: 19:41 GMT, 12 April 2015
One of the two Ethiopian brothers who were burned by a rampaging mob in anti-foreigner violence at a South African township has died, a community leader said Sunday.
The two men were in their shop in Umlazi, south of Durban, when it was petrol-bombed on Friday night.
"The hospital has informed us that our brother (meaning a fellow Ethiopian) died. They said he died shortly after arriving in hospital," said Ephraim Meskele, leader of the Ethiopian community in Durban.
Meskele said the other brother had severe burns and was "fighting for his life" in hospital.
"This is like a war zone. It's like we are in Syria. I have never seen such cruelty," Meskele told AFP.
Over a thousand mostly African foreign nationals have fled their homes in black townships around the eastern port city of Durban since xenophobic attacks and looting erupted two weeks ago.
They are currently housed in makeshift camps, as police and politicians attempt to restore order.
According to Meskele, the Ethiopian community was the worst affected.
Police said the reason for the outbreak in xenophobic attacks was unclear, with contradictory reports about the death toll.
According to police spokesman Thulani Zwane, four people had died in the violence, but some media reports put the figure at six.
A total of 17 people have been arrested in two weeks.
Meskele blamed the police for failing to enough to prevent the orgy of violence and looting of foreign-owned shops in the townships.
"We have heard from our members that some police officers are actually encourage the looting. That is shameful," said Meskele.
Violence against African immigrants in South Africa is common, with impoverished locals accusing foreigners of taking their jobs and business.
The government has condemned the violence, with President Jacob Zuma sending a team of officials to assess the situation.
"We reiterate that there can be no justification for attacking foreign nationals," Zuma said Sunday.
The latest round of xenophobic violence came just months after similar attacks around Soweto, south of Johannesburg.
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Thai police said Wednesday they are investigating a senior Bangkok-based World Health Organization official and his wife after their Ethiopian maid accused them of modern-day slavery and physical abuse.
The 25-year-old maid filed a complaint last month accusing her employers of beating her and forcing her to work without pay for nearly two years at their residence in a plush expat colony in Nonthaburi, a northern satellite city of Bangkok, police said.
"They (the official and his wife) have been accused of human trafficking, tricking her to work, failing to pay her and abuse," Police Colonel Mana Tienmaungpak, head of investigations at Pakkred police station in Nonthaburi, told AFP.
He added that no charges have been pressed against the couple but they will be called in for questioning next week.
The maid's lawyer Surapong Kongchantuk from the Lawyers Council of Thailand confirmed his client had worked for a "high-ranking WHO representative" from July 2013 until early March.
"She did not receive a salary. She had to start working at 5 am through to midnight everyday. She had to spend nights in a small room outside with a dog. She ate only rice and could not associate with any other people," he told AFP.
He added that she had been promised a monthly wage of 3,000 baht ($92) which never materialised.
The maid finally escaped her employers when she was rescued by passers-by after a suicide attempt and is being helped by a local NGO to pursue a case against her employers, Surapong added.
A WHO spokeswoman in Bangkok confirmed the organisation was aware of the accusations.
"WHO has been informed about the allegations in the media related to a private matter between a WHO employee in Thailand and an individual working at his residence. WHO is looking into the matter," she said.