Senegalese residents are calling on authorities to negotiate the release of a young woman who killed her employer in Saudi Arabia.
Mbayang Diop, 22, was arrested in June 2016, just weeks after she was allegedly trafficked to the middle eastern nation. Within weeks of arriving in Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, she stabbed her employer to death in the capital of Riyadh.
While her guilt is not in question, the cause of her actions is what is being debated. Senegalese civil society groups say Diop may have killed the woman she worked for in self-defense after a dispute, and that the Saudi authorities had not properly investigated the case.
In Saudi Arabia, murderers are typically sentenced to death.
However, friends and family are appealing to Senegalese President Macky Sall to intervene to have her repatriated despite the fact that they believe she is guilty.
Mbayang left Dakar without telling her family, having been approached and offered work as a maid, said her brother, Fallou.
“If she had consulted us, we would have told her not to go,” he said, explaining how other women from their neighborhood in Dakar had also moved to Saudi Arabia with the promise of work.
“She said she couldn’t rest – that the work was very hard.”
Human rights activists are presently campaigning for leniency in her case.