Press release

Seychelles Asks for Reconsideration following Sentencing of three Seychellois Nationals to Death for Drug trafficking

April 8, 2013

Following new information that three Seychellois nationals convicted on charges of drug trafficking in Egypt yesterday have been sentenced to death by execution, the Government of Seychelles has appealed to the Government of Egypt to commute their sentences to life imprisonment, this in a strong condemnation of the death penalty.

“The death sentence has long been abolished from our laws and we are respectfully appealing to the Egyptian Government to allow the men in question to serve out their time in prison. We, as a nation are strongly opposed to capital punishment,” said the Minister for Home Affairs and Transport, Mr. Joel Morgan.

The Seychelles Foreign Minister, Mr. Jean-Paul Adam, who is currently attending an African Union Ministerial meeting in Addis Ababa, met with his Egyptian counter- part to bring forth the Government’s views.

“The Seychelles Government respects the rule of law and legal prerogatives of Egypt, as well as the sovereignty of their nation but we have humbly asked that the sentence be commuted to life imprisonment,” explained Minister Adam.

“We, as a nation, are strongly opposed to executions and have made a case to the Egyptian Government to allow the men in question to serve out their time in prison.”

The Seychellois convicted were part of a crew onboard a ship that was detained and apprehended on 22 April 2011 after it, according to reports, entered Egyptian waters illegally.  Acting on information that the ship was bringing in an amount of illicit drugs from Pakistan, the ship was monitored and stopped.

It is understood that the conviction will be appealed through the Egyptian legal system, while the Seychelles Government appeals for clemency.

Minister Adam added that the Seychelles Foreign Ministry would continue to be available to the men and their families for consular assistance where possible.