Kenya pleads for drug pushers

June 2, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 2 – The Kenya Government said on Tuesday it is engaged in talks with China to sign a protocol that will enable a prison exchange system.

Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula said the government “was increasingly concerned at the high number of Kenyans serving death sentences in China.”

“Others are also sentenced to hang in China for drug peddling,” he told Parliament during Tuesday’s proceedings and urged legislators sensitise Kenyans, particularly students studying abroad on the need to shun drug use and trafficking.

He said most Kenyan students in China and other countries were lured to drug trafficking by international criminal syndicates who use them as couriers.

“We are engaged in discussions with the Chinese government and I intend to make an official trip there to see how we can engage them to commute those on death sentences to life sentences and possibly sign a protocol for prison exchange to have them come and serve their life sentences in Kenya,” he said.

He did not elaborate on how far the negotiations with the Chinese government were.

The Minister told Parliament that up to 27 Kenyans, many of them young girls were “languishing in Chinese prison cells after pleading guilty to drug possession and trafficking charges.”

22 of them, he said, are “very young girls who went to China either for studies or while studying in other countries have been lured by criminal syndicates who hired them as couriers.”

“Five of them are young boys. Five of the young girls have been sentenced to death and are now awaiting execution,” he said.

“One boy has been sentenced to death while six of them are serving life sentences,” he added.

“The rest are either awaiting trial or have been jailed for various jail terms running up to 18 years,” he added.


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