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Egyptian President commutes death sentences of three Seychellois nationals to life in prison

Egyptian President commutes death sentences of three Seychellois nationals to life in prison ( The Office of the President of Seychelles has announced that, as a result of intensive diplomatic representations at the highest levels, the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Mr. Abel Fattah el-Sisi, has decided to commute the death sentences of the three Seychellois nationals, currently being held in detention in Egypt for the capital crime of drug trafficking as prescribed by Egyptian law, to one of life sentence.

President James Michel has, in his direct appeals to his Egyptian counterpart on several occasions, played a strong and proactive role in ensuring the Seychellois in Egypt are spared the death sentence.

From the onset of the trial, President Michel had tasked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Transport of the Republic of Seychelles to ensure that the Seychellois nationals are given legal assistance to defend themselves within the Egyptian judicial system, treated humanely and with dignity, facilitated contact between their family members, as well as dispatching diplomats to Egypt on a regular basis to hold talks with their Egyptian counterparts and meet with the detainees.

It is important to note that the Seychelles Constitution does not permit capital punishment and that Seychelles is a strong advocate internationally for abolishing this practice.

The government of Seychelles is now actively pursuing all means at its disposal to ensure that on the basis of an Exchange of Prisoners Agreement, the Seychellois currently incarcerated in the Arab Republic of Egypt can serve out their life sentences in Seychelles. At the behest of President Michel, the Seychelles Ambassador accredited to Egypt, Joseph Nourrice, is currently in Cairo to discuss the next steps with the Egyptian Authorities and to communicate in person the news to the three Seychellois nationals of the commutation of their sentence.


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