SIBEA: NO POLITICAL PRISONERS.

The Executive of the Solomon Islands Bar Association, SIBA, says there are no political prisoners at the Rove Correctional Centre and such reference to them is offensive.

President of SIBA Executive Donald Marahare made this statement in response to a call by the Joint Civil Society Groups and Concerned Citizens, JCSG and CC, recently for the mandatory review of parole applications from the inmates currently under incarceration for crimes committed in relation to the so-called ethnic crisis.

The JCSG and CC described these inmates as politically incarcerated life-timers” who should be considered for parole.

But Mr Marahare says the Executive finds the reference to politically incarcerated prisoners as offensive not only to the judiciary but the legal system in this country in general, not to mention the victims of the offences and their families.

He says what JCSG and CC are implying is that these inmates were imprisoned because of their participation and involvement in a political activity or that they were sent to prison for their political beliefs.

He says the Executive understands, that a handful of inmates currently serving their time at Rove Correctional Centre have been convicted of murder.

But he says the fact that those murders may have taken place during a period of civil unrest does not in any way make them convicted “political prisoners” who should receive special treatment.

The SIBA President further adds these inmates can apply for parole just like any other prisoners and that the usual statutory considerations as provided for under the relevant provisions of the Correctional Services Act 2007 and its 2008 Regulations should apply.

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