20:42 GMT26 February 2020
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    A cartoon published by London-based Saudi newspaper Al-Hayat is receiving backlash after depicting foreign workers as rats.

    The image, drawn by Nasir Khamees, features a Saudi worker riding a unicycle on a rope, while holding a barbell with two large weights. The first weight is labeled “low wages,” and the second “lack of job opportunity,” written in Arabic. The worker looks shocked and confused, seeing a large black rat labeled “foreign workers” eating the rope.

    ​Immediately after publication, the cartoon began to receive backlash and demands for an apology, as it was described as being offensive and racist.

    Syrian journalist Ghassan Yassin took to Twitter to voice his opposition to the cartoon, asking, “is it right to describe foreign workers like that?”

    The drawing was also condemned by the Saudi National Organization for Human Rights, who stated that Al-Hayat has insulted human dignity and violated the principles of international humanitarian conventions, Iran Front Page News reports.

    Still, artist Khamees refuses to apologize for the cartoon.

    “The audience misunderstood my cartoon. I was just referring to some particular foreign workers,” he remarked.


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