Shocking details of how Kenyan was tortured in Saudi Arabia

Beatrice Waruguru, 21, died in unclear circumstances in Saudi Arabia. [Pkemoi Ng’enoh, Standard]

 Post-mortem results have revealed the painful death of 21-year-old Beatrice Waruguru in Saudi Arabia.

Doctors who conducted the exercise said Waruguru’s neck had strangulation marks and her body was dehydrated and undernourished by the time she died.

The autopsy was conducted at the Kenyatta University Funeral Home on Thursday afternoon by two pathologists and witnessed by a police officer and family members.

“The autopsy suggested that a rope was used in strangling her. At the same time, her body was feeble from prolonged starvation,” said her relative, Mercy Wambui, who was present during the autopsy.

The pathologists, in their report, summarised that Beatrice was tortured to death.

Her eyes, the pathologists confirmed, had been gouged out, and torture marks, including burn scars, were also visible on different parts of her body. Post-mortem report from Saudi authorities, however, said Waruguru died by suicide. But even as details of the slain woman emerged, the Government said it was not aware of the death.

Efforts by The Saturday Standard to reach Labour Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelgui over the alleged torture and death of Kenyans in the Gulf were futile. However, communication from his office said the Government could not comment on Waruguru’s case since they had not received an official report. An official from the CS office said the matter should first be confirmed by the National Employment Authority to ascertain authenticity.

“We don’t want to comment before it is confirmed because they must know about the agency that took part in the case. The Authority is the one that regulates the agency,” said the official from CS’s office.

Last month Central Organisation of Trade Unions Secretary General Francis Atwoli said the Government was reluctant in pursuing the plight of Kenyans in Gulf countries. He blamed the ministries of Labour and Foreign Affairs for failing to tackle the case of women who die in the Gulf.

“I think the Government is not sensitive to the plight of the Kenyans. I have appealed time and again to stop the menace of taking our young girls to the Gulf,” Atwoli stated.

He added, “Every morning airlines from the Gulf are dropping dead bodies at the JKIA. Can’t we be sensitive and come out with a law that can protect our young people?”

Details of the agency that recruited the girl remained scanty. However, at the airport on Wednesday when the body landed from Saudi Arabia, a representative from the Association of Skilled Migrant Agencies of Kenya was present.

“I’m here to ensure that everything goes well and the family is assisted. Everything done here is in order, there is no cause of alarm,” the association representative Josephine Muriuki said at the airport.

Saturday standard established that sometime in May last year, Waruguru, communicated with her family, reporting that she was being tortured by her employers. Her confidant, Wambui, said an employment agency that facilitated her travel to the Middle East colluded with Waruguru’s employers to cover up her plight. The 21-year-old woman’s phone, Wambui said, became unreachable towards the end of December 2021.

James Mathenge, who is also Waruguru’s relative, said their kin would call regularly in late 2021 in tears, narrating how she was being mistreated.