State-of-the-nation address-President determined to crack down on crime


02-March-2012

“In the New Seychelles we have to reclaim our communities from the hands of delinquents and bandits,” President Michel said in his state-of-the-nation address delivered before the National Assembly on Wednesday afternoon.

Noting that drugs is at the root of criminality, delinquency and anti-social behaviour, President Michel said we have to intensify the fight against those who consume or traffick in drugs, give them a good correction, and rehabilitate them wherever possible. 

Referring to the pledge he made last year in his National Day address to isolate the drug traffickers from the rest of the prison population, President Michel said this has become a reality today. 

“We have just transferred 20 convicted drug traffickers to the outlying island of Marie-Louise.  As many, if not more, will be transferred to the island during the coming weeks.  We do not have any compassion for them.  They have committed horrible crimes.  They will serve their sentences far away from the people they have poisoned and other people they would have come into contact with had they remained incarcerated at Montagne Posée prison.

This sends another warning to all traffickers: when you are caught you will be punished severely.   On the outer islands they will learn to do productive work,” President Michel said.

Regarding rehabilitation of prisoners, the system in place on Coetivy is functioning well, the President noted. 

“Detainees sent there are acquiring new vocational skills that will be useful to them after they have served their sentences.  They are also contributing to the upkeep of the island,” he added.

“I take the opportunity today to once again warn drug traffickers that Seychelles has declared war on them.  Watch out!  One by one they will go to Marie-Louise,” President Michel said. 

In the effort to render our communities safer, and more enjoyable to live in, the President also proposed several ideas which he said could be debated in the National Assembly.

These include imposing time restrictions on the sale of alcohol in the country; imposing stricter sanctions on shopkeepers who sell alcohol and cigarettes to under-age youth; taking severe actions against those undesirable persons who are a nuisance to their communities because of their behaviour, as well as against prostitution.

Another point of reflection the President put forward was if we should use the national media to promote a certain culture that devalues our own way of life, our sensibilities, and our dignity as a nation.

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