ECOWAS: Supplementary Act on piracy suspects adopted

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) adopted the Supplementary Act on the Conditions of Transfer of Persons Suspected of Having Committed Acts of Piracy and Their Associated Property and / or Evidence. This adoption was decided at the 61st Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government on 3 July 2022, in Accra, Ghana. According to the ECOWAS communiqué, the purpose of this initiative is to further strengthen the gains made in securing the region’s maritime domain from acts of piracy. The Act serves to facilitate the transfer of piracy suspects and the associated property and/or evidence to member states with the appropriate legal framework to ensure ‘legal finish’ with the prosecution of piracy, while ensuring compliance with applicable international human rights law, including the treatment of suspected or transferred persons, as well the inclusion of provision on death penalty to safeguard that no transferred person or persons are subjected to death sentence for acts of piracy. More information is available in a press release from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

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