Workshop on Handling Somali Pirates, for Prison and Police officers

Wed, 2013-03-06 10:29 -- admin

Date:January 08, 2013
Domain:Judiciary; Law and Order
Persona: Citizen; Government

GIS - Jan 08, 2013: A three-day workshop on Somali Culture and Techniques of Handling Somali Inmates, organised by Interpol and sponsored by the European Union (EU), is being held from 7 to 9 January 2013 at the Prison Training School in Beau Bassin. Some 20 Prison staff and six Police Officers are participating.

The workshop, which is part of the implementation of EU Funded Capacity Programme for East Africa, aims to sensitize police and penitentiary personnel on Somali mores and daily handling techniques in line with the human rights of Somali pirates. Several themes are on the agenda, namely general introduction to maritime piracy, Somalia’s historical background, piracy in Somalia, customs and norms in Somalia, and day to day requirements of the Somali Inmates and satisfactory measures, amongst others.

The resource persons are Mr Dable Khalif, from the United Nations Department of Safety and Security; Mr Rony Beersing Narain, Counter Piracy Coordinator, Criminal Investigation Division, Mauritius; and Mrs Fadeke Astaud, Programme Assistant from Interpol.

In his address at the opening ceremony, the Commissioner of Prisons, Mr Jean Bruneau, stated that the Counter Piracy Programme of the United Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has been in place since May 2011, supporting those states in the Indian Ocean that are prosecuting piracy cases.

He added that Mauritius officially joined the fight against piracy on 1 June 2012, agreeing to take suspected pirates for trial from that date. “So far, Mauritian waters have not yet been breached by pirates. However, given the enormous distances pirates travel across the Indian Ocean, Mauritius has geared itself to counter any such incursion with the support of friendly countries”, he said.

In July 2011, Mauritius signed an agreement with the European Union defining the conditions and the modalities for the transfer of suspected pirates for investigation, prosecution, trial and detention in Mauritius, transfer of associated property seized and the treatment of such persons. Subsequently, The Piracy and Maritime Violence Act was voted by the National Assembly in December 2011.

UNODC organised in mid-2011 its first training programme at the Prison Training School for 23 Prison staff. The resource persons were Professor Glenn Ross from Australia’s Edith Cowan University and Mr Eliud Opilo, a Chief Officer in the Kenya Prisons Service on secondment to the UNODC Counter Piracy Programme.

Thereafter, exposure through the Prison Exchange Learning Programme was held in Kenya from 11 to 15 April 2011for four Prison staff; in Seychelles from 19 to 21 March 2012 for six Prison staff; and at La Plantation Hotel from 12 to 14 December 2012 for a batch of 14 Prison staff and 20 foreign delegates.