Migrant workers who have been stranded in Jordan and looking to be repatriated to Sri Lanka were teargassed earlier today, as they stand a protest outside the Sri Lankan embassy in the country.
Jordanian police reportedly intervened after an escalation between Sri Lankan Embassy authorities and protesters, with the workers fleeing after being tear gassed.
“Almost two dozen workers have been hospitalized,” one worker told reporters. “We do not want to die here. Please take us back to Sri Lanka.
Migrant workers have been demanding assistance from Sri Lankan authorities, as many have lost work due to coronavirus but are unable to return to the island. It was estimated that there were as many as 500 workers from Sri Lanka protesting their conditions in Jordan.
The death toll of migrant workers killed by the coronavirus in the Middle East reached 44 last week, and it is estimated there are 1,700 migrant workers stranded abroad. The Sri Lankan government continues to restrict repatriation of these workers, despite their lack of work or stable living conditions in Middle Eastern countries.