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KOT demand justice for Kenyan woman being held captive in Saudi Arabia

Kenyans on Twitter (KOT) are calling for the government’s intervention after the plight of a young Kenyan woman who is stranded in Saudi Arabia was made public in a viral online post.

The woman, who has been identified as Diana Chepkemoi, looks haggard and malnourished in the photos that have been widely shared online.

According to the woman’s sister, Lorrain Cheptoo, who spoke to Citizen TV, Diana is being held in Saudi Arabia against her will.

She said her sister left for Saudi Arabia in January last year to seek employment as a domestic worker.

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“Diana was pursuing food science and management before she deferred her studies because of financial issues. She looked for ways to make a living until mid-last year when she got an opportunity to travel to Saudi Arabia as a domestic worker,” Lorrain said.

Everything was fine at the beginning until she fell ill. According to a conversation her sister claims to have had with her, efforts to get her medication were futile as the employer would not allow her to leave.

Diana had been in constant communication with her sister until about three months ago when she went quiet and her phone off.

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Cheptoo further reveals that Diana’s boss had asked the family to refund Sh300,000 that she paid the agent in order to release Diana.

“We tried to talk to the boss and he said Diana is yet to complete her working days as per the contract she signed and is now holding her hostage. Once you see those photos circulating online, you will agree that my sister needs all the help she can get immediately. I am scared she might not make it home alive,” she added.

This, plus the government’s silence on the matter, has angered Kenyans online who are demanding immediate action to rescue Diana. Here are some of the sentiments shared on online:

“This Kenyan girl called Diana Chepkemoi, Meru University student who went to find work in Saudi Arabia. She went healthy, now she is enslaved. See her transformation. Our embassy has her location and employer’s phone but they are sitting pretty waiting for her to die. Sad!” rapper King Kaka said.

“This Diana Chepkemoi story shows how the world has normalized violence against women in Saudi. Ironically, Saudi Arabia enjoys Chairman of Human Rights Commission position in the UN. Since Kenyan ambassador to Saudi has failed am ready to pay for Diana’s ticket and bring her back,” @AlinurMohamed said.

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“The ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Kenya is called Khalid bin Abdullah Ali Al-Salman. Below first frame is a picture of this man. A Powerful family in his country has enslaved a Kenyan girl called Diana Chepkemoi, frame two. They are killing the girl. We must call out Alsalman,” @ItsMutai tweeted.

“Peter Ogego Kenyan Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. We need to make a MF trend,” @Kenny_Kyp said.

“How students defer studies on a university level to do domestic work in Saudi Arabia with the availability of NG-CDF & other enabler funds showcases failure in accessing the same funds. That’s story for another day, for now Diana Chepkemoi must be back home & complete her studies,” @MajimajiKenya said.

“My young friend Diana a Meru University student is trapped in Saudi Arabia… no contract should bind anyone to such misery. She is a young brilliant lady who only sought to help her family. Bring Diana back home,” @TechWakili said.