High-level delegation visit Montagne Posée Prison


24-September-2012

The delegation speaking with some of the convicted Somalis during the visit

The delegation comprised Rear Admiral Duncan Potts, the EUNavfor Operation Commander for the European Union Naval Forces anti-piracy mission; the British high commissioner to Seychelles, Lindsay Skoll; the political advisor for EUNavfor, Joanne Hamer; and officers attached to the Rear Admiral’s office. They were accompanied by the Minister for Home Affairs and Transport Joel Morgan and officers from his ministry.

The prison tour was guided by the deputy Superintendent of Prison, Will Thurbin, who briefed the delegates about the facilities and prison improvement projects undertaken by the government with the assistance of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

During the tour, Rear Admiral Potts spoke with several of the Somali pirates in the main yard of the prison, now serving their sentences in Seychelles. This provided a unique opportunity for the Admiral and his staff to engage in open discussions with them. 

Admiral Potts reminded them that their detention at the Montagne Posée Prison is as a result of their illegal acts of piracy in the Indian Ocean. The Admiral expressed the hope that with the new Somali government in place, continued progress could be made that would see peace and stability returning to Somalia again.

During the meeting, the convicted Somalis took the opportunity to ask Minister Morgan about their possible repatriation back to Somalia. The minister informed them that with the agreements in place, transfer back to Somali prisons to carry out their sentences would continue to take place as the extension of prisons capacity and space are made available in Somalia.

He said that the government’s policy was to transfer them back to Somalia to serve their prison sentences there.
The delegation left Seychelles on the evening of the same day.

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