The Kenyan Embassy in Saudi Arabia is on the spot over claims of laxity and ignoring plight of Kenyan immigrant workers.
It is reported that over 100 Kenyans are currently jailed in Saudi Arabia but the number is projected to be larger since the figure reported by rights defenders is just from a single police cell.
One of the survivor who was helped by Human rights lobby Haki Africa back to the country Kevin Githinji traveled to Saudi Arabia in March, 2020 only to get a hostile reception from the very first day he stepped in the foreign country.
Githinji, who was to be employed by a Saudi based company was unknowingly transferred to a different company where he declined to sign the contract.
“I was immediately thrown into detention for over 10 months, I really suffered,” said Githinji.
He said since March, 2020 until he was helped out by the human rights organization back to the country, he did not earn anything.
“Actually I was being assisted by my family back at home who sent me little money for upkeep,” He painfully said, while addressing journalists at the Haki Africa offices in Mombasa on Wednesday.
He is not the only one, another detainee Sagaff Swaleh who is steal detained in Saudi Arabia cells is appealing for government interventions to help him return to Kenya.
His mother Nargis Khamis says his son has been working in Saudi Arabia for the last 10 years however, since last year, he has been going through hell.
“I only want to see my son, we are appealing to the government to intervene and help us get our son back,” said a teary mother.
Speaking at the same media address, Haki Africa Deputy Executive Director Salma Hemed asked the government to use diplomacy in repatriating Kenyans back to their country.
“These Kenyans are going through gross human rights violations, they should be assisted back to their country,” Noted Ms Hemed.
She blamed the Kenyan Embassy in Saudi Arabia for ignoring the plights of Kenyans but instead working with Saudi officials to further oppress the already suffering Kenyans.
“In fact we are demanding an overhaul of the Kenyan Embassy to bring more devoted officials who have the zeal of serving Kenyans without fear and favour,” she said.
Haki Africa is demanded for legal assistance to all Kenyan migrant workers charged for allegedly escaping from their employers on grounds of mistreatment.
Meanwhile the Organisation’s Rapid Response officer Mathias Hezron Shipetta called for a deployment of more labour attaches at the Kenya- Saudi Embassy.
[Haki Africa Rapid Response Officer Mathias Hezron Shipetta. Photo/Khateeb Abdallah.]
The defender also called for an immediate set-up of a response team with a hotline number to follow up on emergency issues raised by Kenyans in distress.
“We are in the processes of expanding our human rights services in Saudi Arabia to closely follow up on migrant worker cases,” said Mr Shipetta.