Kenyans serving jail terms in foreign countries set to be repatriated

Kenyans serving jail terms in foreign countries are set to be repatriated back to the country if bilateral agreements and treaties with the sentencing countries are put in place.

Attorney General, Prof. Githu Muigai says this arrangement will be actualized, once the drafting of the Model Agreement for Negotiation on the Transfer of Prisoners is completed.

Prof. Muigai said the Model Agreement is being drafted by the State Law Office under his direct surpervision.

The AG said the document will form the basis for the implementation of the Transfer of Prisoners Act, 2015, which came into effect on 12 October 2015.

He said once the various legal structures are put in place, Kenyan inmates in different countries will be repatriated to complete their jail sentences in the country.

The Model Agreement is also expected to detail out the conditions for transfer of prisoners as well as the eligibility of the transfers to Kenya and from Kenya.

The Attorney General further confirmed that the model agreement will form the basis for the exchange of prisoners between Kenya and other signatory states to the Agreement.

It is estimated that close to 3,000 Kenyans are serving jail sentences in various countries with Kenyan prisons also holding a similar numbers of foreign nationals.

The actualization of the Transfer of Prisoners Act 2015 is aimed at facilitating the transfer of persons serving sentences for criminal offences committed in Kenya, or in countries outside Kenya, while ensuring that prisoners are accorded basic dignities in line with human rights laws and international conventions.

He said this will also allow the inmates to serve their sentences within the communities that they have ties.

The Model Agreement will according to the Act, only apply where an agreement exists between Kenya and another country.

However, the conditions for transfer can only be made through an application by the two states through the Attorney General, or by an application from the Prisoner to the Attorney General for consideration, but only if that person is a national of Kenya.

Prof. Muigai made the disclosure during a visit to the Langata Women’s Prison, where he received petitions from women inmates seeking consideration of Presidential pardon.

During his visit to the facility, he met several inmates of Pakistani origin who made a plea for the transfer to their home country.

The visit to the Women’s facility comes at a time when the Power of Mercy Advisory Committee (PMAC) chaired by the Attorney General is making recommendations to the Head of State for female inmates to be considered for pardon.

The female prisoners who can qualify for Presidential pardon on recommendation by the PMAC,include prisoners who have served long sentences and have reformed; prisoners who received long jail sentences at an early age, and such sentences have denied them individual human rights to have families.

Source: News Agency