Somalia wants repatriation of ‘pirate’ prisoners in Kenya jails

Published: September 27, 2015

Somalia wants repatriation of ‘pirate’ prisoners in Kenya jails Somalia has said that it is working for the repatriation of about 100-Somali nationals jailed in Kenya after they were captured at sea over alleged hijacking of vessels in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden years ago.
Ambassador Gamal Mohamed Hassan, Somalia’s ambassador to Kenya accompanied by the Federal government officials and Chief inspector of Kenya Prisons visited the Shimo La Tewa prison in the port town of Mombasa, where 92-Somali nationals convicted of Piracy are being held to assess their situations.
The officials met the piracy-convicts in the prison last week, who were demanding to be sent back home due to hard living conditions.
Ambassador Gamal added that the Somali officials have already discussed with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to facilitate the transfer of pirates in order to complete their terms in their motherland.
‘’We have asked the Kenyan government to hand over them to us and finish their terms in their homeland… we hope that the process and deal can be reached in the next coming two weeks,’’ he said in an interview with the BBC Somali Service.
UNODC has set up the Garowe and Hargeisa detention facilities in Puntland and Somaliland respectively as part of the Piracy Prisoner Transfer Programme.
Kenya is one of a few countries that are prosecuting pirates, alongside Seychelles and Mauritius. But the cases are notoriously difficult to prosecute and take a long time to complete.
More than 1,000 Somali pirates are in prisons around the world. Some of them have been already convicted while others are still waiting to be prosecuted.
Piracy at sea has declined massively since 2011, falling 40 percent for the first time in six years, According to Maritime reports.
The drop in piracy incidents is a relief to shipping companies using the Indian Ocean that have been the target of pirates.
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