Family says 21-year-old girl who died in Saudi Arabia was tortured

Mercy Wanjiru, mother to the late Beatrice Wanjiru who died in Saudi Arabia holds a  picture of her at Kenyatta University Funeral Home on May 12, 2022. [Jonah Onyango, Standard

The family of a 21-year-old girl who died in Saudi Arabia has said their kin was tortured before she died, judging from marks on her body.

The remains of Beatrice Waruguru arrived on Wednesday but her family was informed of her death last year.

Initially, the family had refused to sign some documents to accept the remains leading to a 5-hour standoff at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

They accepted the body at 6pm and took it to Kenyatta University Funeral Home.

They were assured by a representative of the Association of Skilled Migrant Agencies of Kenya (ASMAK) that the matter will be handled by the government.

The family has said some marks on Waruguru's body portray the pain she suffered at the hands of her employers.

"The head is disfigured with eyes seeming to have been gouged out. Her neck has a deep cuts and stitches. Maybe they slit her throat," the victim's mother, Mercy Wanjiru said.

"Some flesh behind her legs is missing maybe because she died a long time ago and some body parts were interfered with," Wanjiru added.

The mother said her late daughter's dreadlocks were still intact which made it easy for the family to identify her.

“It is very painful for any parent and I appeal to those willing to come and view the body and see how our children are suffering in Saudi Arabia yet the government is silent," she said. "I wish President Uhuru could have time to see this.”

Even though the family had been receiving reports on when and how Waruguru died, a post-mortem report from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia says that Waruguru died by suicide in May last year.

Another relative James Mathenge said Waruguru had been calling her claiming she was being tortured until she went offline for several months.

“The last conversation was in May 2021," Mathenge said.