A Kenyan woman, identified as Ms Mercy alias Saumu, was apprehended by the police in Riyadh Region, Saudi Arabia on Sunday evening for the alleged murder of another Kenyan citizen. The incident was captured on video by an onlooker and has since gained widespread attention.
The deceased woman has been identified as Maureen, according to reliable sources. The Riyadh Police Region issued a statement confirming that the two individuals had a dispute, but did not provide specific details regarding the nature of the disagreement.
The police statement read, “Security patrols in the Riyadh Region arrested a Kenyan resident who assaulted another Kenyan, resulting in her death, following a dispute between them.”
The disturbing video shows Ms Saumu violently attacking Ms Maureen on a busy road. She repeatedly slams the victim’s head onto the pavement, while also kicking and stepping on her face.
The assault continued until motorists intervened, approaching the scene and urging the assailant to stop. The video footage was captured by individuals residing in a nearby building, who can be heard screaming at Ms Saumu to cease the attack.
The Saudi Arabian authorities have reported that the victim passed away while receiving medical treatment at a local hospital. Under Saudi Arabian law, murder carries a death penalty, and the suspect is currently facing charges accordingly.
According to Saudi Arabian law, offenses such as rape, murder, apostasy, sedition, sorcery, armed robbery, adultery, and drug trafficking are all punishable by death. While some crimes, like premeditated murder, have fixed punishments under Saudi shariah (Islamic law), others, including drug-related offenses, are categorized as ta’zir, where neither the crime nor the punishment is specifically defined in Islam.
The imposition of capital punishment is subject to considerable judicial discretion in the courts. Defendants have the right to appeal their sentences. The law stipulates that a five-judge appellate court must affirm a death sentence, which must then be unanimously confirmed by a five-judge panel of the Supreme Court.
To address the challenges faced by Kenyans living in the Gulf region, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Dr. Alfred Mutua has introduced toll-free helpline numbers, allowing individuals to seek assistance from the Kenyan government. The numbers, +966 500 755 060 or 19911 (toll-free), are operational 24/7.
“There are dedicated personnel manning the helpline round the clock, and they will respond promptly. If, for any reason, they fail to do so, please contact me as the Cabinet Secretary, and I will take immediate action. The government is committed to providing support to Kenyans,” stated Dr. Mutua.
Dr. Mutua further revealed that he had raised concerns with the Saudi Arabian government regarding the mistreatment of Kenyans but had faced challenges in obtaining the necessary information about the individuals responsible. He emphasized that the Saudi Arabian government has pledged to arrest those found to be violating the law.
During his visit to Saudi Arabia, Dr. Mutua also met with Kenyans who were faring well and remitting significant amounts of money back to Kenya.