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Kenya could soon join prisoners transfer agreements with other countries

Kenya could soon join the list of countries that have signed prisoners transfer agreements, which allow for foreign prisoners to serve their jail terms in their countries of nationality, if a Bill sponsored by the National Assembly Majority Leader, Aden Duale is passed.

The Transfer of Prisoners Bill, which Duale formally introduced in parliament in June 19 last year, is set to be tabled for the third reading when Parliament resumes next week. The Bill seeks to have Kenyan prisoners serving jail terms in foreign countries transferred home and also proposes the relocation of foreign prisoners to be tried in their countries.

According to the Bill, a prisoner may be transferred upon a request or application-

(a) To the Government of Kenya by the sentencing country;

(b) By the Government of Kenya as the sentencing country; or transfers can be undertaken.

(c) By or on behalf of the prisoner to the Attorney General, and subsequent action by the Attorney- , General.

“The Attorney-General may also make a formal request to the transfer country for the transfer of a prisoner from Kenya,’’ states the Bill.

Prisoners transfer is a common practice especially in western countries and governments like Australia and the United States have signed agreements with a number of other nations like Canada, France, Mexico, Turkey, Hong Kong among others.

In January last year, Nigeria and the United Kingdom signed an agreement providing for the transfer of prisoners between the two States.


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