The Federal Government of Somalia on Friday welcomed home forty-one nationals who had been in Indian jails for piracy related offences.
The returnees were welcomed at the Mogadishu International Airport by Prime Minister Ali Hassan Khayre and other government officials.
A Voice of America journalist, Harun Maruf said the former detainees were released after negotiations between the two countries.
We want the Somali people to know that we will not rest as long as there are Somali youth languishing in prisons in foreign countries. We will bring them home. It is the duty of the government to rescue its citizens.
He added that: “They were part of 120 Somalis arrested by India navy after being suspected of involvement in piracy acts, some have served their jail terms.” Two of them are said to have died in prison.
The Prime Minister later wrote on Twitter that the government will continue to do all it takes to return Somalis languishing in jails outside the country. Reports indicate that 77 others will be freed in the coming months.
We want the Somali people to know that we will not rest as long as there are Somali youth languishing in prisons in foreign countries. We will bring them home. It is the duty of the government to rescue its citizens.#NabadiyoNolol#Somalia pic.twitter.com/wmoQuCCUy2
— SomaliPM (@SomaliPM) January 19, 2018
The Somali government in 2017 secured the release of over twenty of its nationals held in neighbouring Ethiopia’s jails.
The government was also instrumental in the release of a top Somali journalist who was jailed in Ethiopia.
The Mohammed Abdullahi Farmaajo government, however, attracted public outrage by handing over a Somali national to the Ethiopian government.
A move that was slammed by Somalis and by human rights groups who claimed Mogadishu had virtually handed him over to be tortured.
By Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban