Kenya: MPs' Probe Into Saudi Torture Claims Big Joke

30 November 2021
editorial

The parliamentary investigation into complaints of persecution and torture of Kenyan workers in Saudi Arabia is a big joke. Members of a parliamentary committee who travelled to Saudi Arabia, at taxpayer's expense, to ascertain the truth have declared that their findings are shocking.

But there had been numerous horrifying revelations on the harassment, assault and general brutalisation of immigrant workers in the Middle East.

The foreigners seeking greener pastures find themselves turned into slaves. Thanks to new technology, there are harrowing viral videos of Kenyans crying out for help in custody. That begs the question: Why do we have embassies in the Mideast?

Whose interests do the scores of African diplomats there serve? Do they really deserve their tidy pay? How come they never respond to the cries of the workers?

The MPs' supposed investigation, though an indication of their concern about the plight of the Kenyan workers, is somewhat hypocritical. They did not just arrive from Mars the other day. The accounts of the suffering Kenyans have been extensively covered in the news and also investigative reports.

Unionists have added their voice to the condemnation of the inhumane treatment of Kenyans in a country that enjoys cordial relations with their own dating back several decades and have diplomatic and economic co-operation for mutual gain.

True, most of the Kenyan workers are in Saudi Arabia on private arrangements but their employers are not above their country's laws, manhandle foreigners only to go scot-free.

The MPs should for lobby Jeddah to protect foreign workers in the kingdom. The abuse of foreign workers in the Middle East has gone on for far too long. It must be condemned through every forum, including petitioning the United Nations to act.

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