Somalia wants pirate prisoners to be repatriated

Somalia wants pirate prisoners to be repatriated

Around 100 Somali nationals jailed in Kenya for their alleged involvement in vessel hijacks could be repatriated to finish up their jail terms in their native country.

Somalia’s ambassador to Kenya, Ambassador Gamal Mohamed Hassan, last week visited the Shimo La Tewa prison in Mombasa with Kenyan government officials and the chief inspector of the country’s prisons, press reports say.

Some 92 Somali nationals convicted of piracy are being held at the prison and are demanding to be repatriated due to living conditions there. The officials met with the prisoners to assess their situations.

“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,’’ Gamal said in an interview with the BBC Somali Service.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has already been consulted on the transfer of the pirates to Somalian prisons, such as the Garowe and Hargeisa detention facilities UNODC has founded in Puntland and Somaliland respectively, as part of the Piracy Prisoner Transfer Programme.

Over 1,000 Somali pirates are in prisons around the world. Some have been already convicted while others are awaiting prosecution.

Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.

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