Somaliland leader pardons 19 suspected pirates released from Seychelles

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The leader of Somaliland administration, Muse Bihi Abdi has pardoned 19 prisoners from jail on Monday.

The 19 were returned from Seychelles where they were serving various sentences on piracy-related offenses.

President Bihi ordered their release in a presidential decree issued by his office.

” After considering section 16 and 20 articles 2 that stipulates the powers of the president to pardon prisoners returned from another state as per section 90 article 5 of Somaliland constitution, I have pardoned the prisoners returned from Seychelles.” President Bihi said in a letter.

The prisoners were detained and handed over to Seychelles authorities by international maritime vessels as an international naval force at the Indian ocean before their trial on piracy offense.

Somali government returned several citizens serving in India jails for piracy crime following an agreement between the two countries last year.

120 from various Indian prisons were returned in Mogadishu under the agreement after serving seven years in March last year.

Piracy is a global threat to the international shipping industry and poses a severe security risk to trade companies operating past the Somali waters and on to the Indian Ocean.

Acts of piracy off the Somali coast rose after 2005, costing shipping companies billions of dollars, but have declined in recent years due to beefed-up naval patrols and greater security aboard merchant ships.

Since Somalia’s spike in piracy in 2011 which saw some 736 hostages and 32 ships hijacked, fewer attacks have been reported.

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