Puntland regional state authorities on Sunday welcomed home 17 Somali nationals who had been imprisoned in Oman for 12 years for piracy-related offences.
The Omani government pardoned the men after the Somali embassy in Oman worked to secure the release of Somali prisoners. Some of the repatriated men were sentenced to life imprisonment.
The returnees expressed gratitude to the Oman Somali embassy for helping ease their rule.
Speaking to local media, they expressed their profound sorrow over their pirate offences and said they had felt rehabilitated after their 12-year incarceration.
“I’ve been behind bars for 12 years. I did not waste those years; instead, I abandoned many of the wrong paths I had previously taken. We have memorized the Holy Quran,” said Abdikarim Saed, one of the 17 men brought home on Saturday.
Abdulkadir Jama Dirir, the commander of the Bari Regional Police, said that they are happy for citizens to return to their homeland and anticipated raising awareness about the crimes. Twelve more Somali nationals are currently in Oman jails.