At least 1,300 Kenyans are being held in foreign jails, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma has said.
Of the 1,300, 79 are in neighbouring Tanzania, 47 in Uganda and 15 are in Ethiopia.
“There is nothing unusual really about Kenyans being in foreign jails,” Dr Juma told journalists Thursday at a media briefing in Nairobi.
“We have negotiated a number of extradition treaties, but these take time.”
Comparing the number with the 2,000 foreigners Kenya holds in its various prisons, Dr Juma asked Kenyans to be patient with the negotiations for extradition which are going on.
In the meantime, she said, Kenya is working hard to ensure that those jailed in foreign lands are treated humanely and have access to legal and consular services.
“If any Kenyan is arrested, and/or jailed before we are informed, we will and have protested because it is against international law,” she said.
Mr Washington Oloo, the director of Diaspora and Consular Services in the ministry, said that of the 1,300, 478 have been sentenced and are serving terms, majority of them serving life imprisonments.
80 IN CHINA
About 80 of them are serving time in China, and others are spread in the Far East, Malaysia, Thailand, and West Africa.
“Our policy is not to interfere with the legal process of a sovereign nation but we try as much as possible to ensure that they have consular support, and retain the right to visitation,” said Mr Oloo.
However, Dr Juma asked Kenyans in the diaspora to be careful while in the foreign nations.
“When you go out there, please understand the jurisdictions you are in and respect the law. Do not go there and do things we do here if they are not allowed there,” Dr Juma said.