Revealed: 90% of Indian prisoners prefer to stay in UAE jails

Only 10 per cent of the 1,200 Indian prisoners lodged in UAE jails want to serve out their terms in prisons back home, T. P. Seetharam, Indian Ambassador to the UAE has revealed to the media.

”We have received five names from the UAE authorities so far and modalities are being worked out. It will happen soon, but when, I cannot tell,” explained the envoy during his recent interview with Khaleej Times.

“It’s the media that is more interested in the transfer of prisoners to India than the prisoners themselves”, the Ambassador said with a laugh, when asked about delays in implementing the prisoner transfer agreement.

Conditions for transfering prisoners

Prisoners who seek a transfer should meet the following criteria :

  • They should have a minimum six months left in their jail terms.
  • No cases should be pending against them.
  • Airfare for these convicts will be borne by the repatriating country under the deal.

The other side of the issue is that Indian prisons are crowded and authorities are finding it hard to accommodate prisoners from here.

Transfer agreement signed in 2011

Under the agreement signed in 2011 by the two countries and ratified in 2013 by the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, these convicts can complete the rest of their terms in prisons near their homes in India where their families can meet them.

Officials from both countries have held several meetings on the issue and full details are awaited from the UAE side, said the ambassador.

Better quality of UAE prisons

Indian prisoners in the UAE can avail of this facility and seek a transfer. Many convicts, however, prefer the comfort of UAE prisons. One obvious reasons is the better quality of life offered in UAE prisons.

“In comparison with prisons in India, UAE prisons are well-regulated and managed, and offer better living standards, hygienic conditions, quality of food, infrastructure and environment,” said Ashish Mehta, Managing Partner, Ashish Mehta and Associates.

“Due to these reasons, Indian prisoners serving jail terms in the UAE are generally not desirous to seek a transfer to Indian prisons to serve their jail term unless they have other personal reasons,” he added.

Based on Khaleej Times article by Allan Jacob

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