Monday, November 17, 2014


Alleged beating of Somali prisoner by officer

According to reports, a gurkha officer assaulted an 18 year-old Somali at Montagne Posée. The authorities have been mute on the subject despite attempts to obtain their reaction.

A Somali pirate imprisoned at Montagne Posée, going by the name Abid–Assen, was reportedly assaulted on Monday by a gurkha officer. The prisoner is believed to be around 18 years of age. Very little information is available about the incident so far. The prison authorities as well as the ministry of Home Affairs have refused to comment on the allegations.

Lawyer Nichol Gabriel is currently involve in the case and has written to the prison authorities to ask for a report of the incident. Mr Gabriel had not heard anything from the authorities.

Abid-Assen was admitted to the Seychelles hospital for one night after the assault on Monday. Unconfirmed sources say the man was vomiting blood before his transfer to the hospital.

According to witnesses, a gurkha officer going by the name of Harry, slapped the young man after which he reportedly passed out. After this, the officer allegedly kicked the unconscious prisoner.

It is as yet unclear why this particular prisoner was singled out.

This incident came to the attention of lawyer Nichol Gabriel who wrote a letter to the prison authorities, requesting the medical report of his client as well as a report from the prison authorities on the incident. Gabriel had not received any report from either the ministry of health or the prison authorities.

Mr Gabriel stated that what happened was “really unfair” and a direct consequence of the prison authorities’ failure to protect inmates. The lawyer further said that he intends to sue the prison authorities to prove the officer in question was at fault.

Contacted, Prison Superintendant Maxime Tirant has refused to comment on the incident. The liason officer for prisons at the ministry of Home Affairs also declined to comment.

Seychelles is among 21 countries worldwide that detain Somali pirates through an agreement with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). According to an official document from the UNODC, the prisoners are supposed to follow a rehabilitation programme to prevent future crime at the Montagne Posée prison.

Source: Today