AFRICANGLOBE – Ethiopian Ambassador Mohammed Hassan has said the embassy, after consultations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is considering filing lawsuits against a number of Saudis and media organizations on charges of defaming his countrymen.
The ambassador told Al-Hayat newspaper on Wednesday that as a result of the massive unfair media campaign against Ethiopians, “some Saudi citizens started to formulate a negative picture about my countrymen.”
“After consultations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the embassy is mooting the possibility of filing lawsuits against the individuals and media organizations who deliberately defame Ethiopians,” he said.
Hassan said it was not possible to label all illegal infiltrators who sneak into the Kingdom through its southern borders as Ethiopian citizens. “People of many nationalities infiltrate through the Kingdom’s porous southern borders. There is no way to identify them,” he said, adding that it is unfair to label all of them Ethiopians.
The ambassador criticized the media which hasten, without solid proof, to blame Ethiopians for the various crimes in the southern region. “This has prompted many Saudi citizens who get their information from the media and do not know the real facts doubt all Ethiopians and become suspicious of anything Ethiopian,” he said.
The ambassador said the harmful media campaigns have caused immense embarrassment to Ethiopian expatriates who have been living in the Kingdom for long years without causing any security problems.
The ambassador did not entirely dismiss the possibility of some Ethiopians committing crimes but said they do not represent all Ethiopians. “The Ethiopians who commit crimes in the Kingdom should be brought to justice. However, by their very nature the Ethiopians are law-abiding citizens in their own country and in countries that host them,” he said.
He said the Ethiopians come to the Kingdom for work opportunities to improve their living conditions and not for any other purpose.
“The ferocious media campaigns have resulted in many innocent Ethiopian expatriates being verbally abused by some sections of society. The Saudis who do this are not aware of the depth of historic relations between the two countries,” he said.