Skip to content

Somalis in Indian jails can now apply to complete terms at home

Credit: Internet

Persons serving jail terms in Somalia and India can now apply to complete their sentences in their respective countries following a prisoner transfer agreement between the two countries.

Parliament will today debate the agreement presented by the Federal Government which sets the framework under which prisoners in both countries can be transferred to their home countries upon which they will finish the remainder of their terms.

The agreement stipulates sentenced persons who are nationals of either Somalia or India can request by making an application to be transferred but only if they are have not been imposed a death sentence, not have been convicted for an offence under military law and that such a person should not be subject to pending criminal proceedings in the transferring state.

“At the time of receipt of the request for transfer, the agreement reads, the sentenced person still has at least six months of the sentence to serve or is undergoing a sentence of life imprisonment.” An exception is however provided for such a transfer to occur if the remaining jail term is less than six months upon agreement by both countries.

Several Somalis charged with piracy in the Indian Ocean waters in 2011 are serving various jail terms in Indian jails. The last batch of 60 Somali pirates were handed seven year sentence on September 9, 2017 for piracy attack on a merchant vessel in 2011. The convicts had however been in jail for six years and the court directed they be deported upon completion of terms.

Somalia and Indian had earlier signed a Memorandum of Understanding with India for Somali convicts in India to finish their terms back home.

The agreement subject to debate by the Lower House today notes the receiving state shall be bound by the legal nature and duration of the sentence as determined by the transferring state.