Another victim of torture in Saudi Arabia recounts her nightmarish experience
Barely a month after Diana Chepkemoi, who was subjected to untold suffering by her employer in Saudi Arabia returned home, another Kenyan national, who managed to make her way out, has recounted her own harrowing experience.
It took the effort of family members and the media to have Rebecca Chesang’s story highlighted, and that’s how she found her way back home after several distressful calls.
While narrating her story during the launch of Plight of Kenyan Migrant Domestic Workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a report which was investigated by the Office of Ombudsman (The Commission on Administrative Justice), Ms Chesang said her troubles started in Kenya during their preparation to fly to Middle East.
She says instead of a Yellow Fever jab, they were given contraceptive without their knowledge during the medical tests.
“We came to the agent’s office in Nairobi, where we were injected. After going back home I realized I had had been administered were family planning injections. We were told that it was a Yellow Fever injection, which was not the case. The agents were now after money and they were not giving us any attention,” Ms Chesang said.
She also narrated how rogue agents failed to give them the employment contracts to read before departure, and only availed them at the eleventh hour.
“One thing about the agents is that they will not give you the contract to read for yourself at their offices. They only give it to you at the airport so that in case you change your mind, you will have no other option.”
Their travel was not inclusive of meals all the way, and they had to watch other passengers being served while they starved.
And when she arrived in Saudi Arabia, she quickly realised that tougher times lay ahead of her. She says she subjected to back-breaking chores by her employer and only survived on a meal of strong tea. At one point, Ms Chesang said that she could no longer work for her first employer, following numerous cases of torture.
The employer demanded that she could only let her go if her family would pay back the money that he used to facilitate her travel to Saudi Arabia.
But due to financial constraint, her family could not raise Sh400,000 which the employer was demanding, and they end up reaching another deal.
Ms Chesang said that her boss gave her two options – either to shoot her dead or she accepts to work for his relative who would pay him back the money. She agreed.
She only realized later that the two employers were the same. Her fortunes only changed for the worse.
Ms Chesang recalled how one day she overslept after working for many hours, only to be awoken by a hot iron box on her hand.
She says that even when she was sick, her employer demanded that she must work.
She is asking the government to intervene and rescue the Kenyan girls who are suffering in Saudi.
Chesang added that she has attended burial ceremony of six girls who allegedly died while in working in Saudi Arabia. According to Ms Chesang, the agent who took her to Saudi never answered her calls and that the family was left to carry the burden.