Jaabir Papuretty's parents refuse to believe he would have had the guts to attack the French embassy. Arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, he is currently interned at Brown-Séquard hospital.

Added to the incomprehension and moral stress are unanswered questions for the moment. “Zis li ek lao-la ki kone kinn arive exakteman,” says Rosida, Jaabir Papuretty’s mother. The young man was arrested on Friday May 17 for attempted attack on the French embassy.

A homemade bomb, which he had concocted himself, matches and a knife were seized from him by the police. He suggested to investigators that he intended to “eklat” the French embassy because of “dominate” acts towards the Palestinian people. He was charged under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PoTA) (see below) and placed in the High Security Ward of Brown-Séquard Hospital to determine whether he might suffer from a personality disorder.

“Zis sa zour-la mo pann fouy so sak avan li sorted,” regrets Rosida. This mother of two children, including Jaabir, the youngest, still lives under the family roof, says she does not understand the latter's approach. She also questions the circumstances surrounding the case.

Cader, her husband, is convinced that their son does not have the guts to commit such an act. “Latet lor biyo, inposib Jaabir fer sa,” he says. Suffering from health complications, he confides that Jaabir takes great care of him. After a moment of reflection, he says: “Mwa so papa, mo pou dir ou inposib li al fer enn zafer parey. Ou met mo likou lor biyo, mo pou dir ou non mem. »

He describes his son as a “ti leker” individual, who is afraid of insects. “Kankrela, li kriye li per, aster ou dir mwa enn piti koumsa pou eklat dinamit,” he asks.

This shows the couple's confusion when the police arrived at their home on Friday May 17. Their son was under heavy police escort, which aroused fear among them. It was only after a while that the parents learned the reason for this action and the arrest of their son for an offense under PoTA.

In the neighborhood where Jaabir Papuretty grew up, neighbors remain perplexed and shocked. “Dimounn dan landrwa pedi mande si vere sa, we don’t know what we can answer,” says Rosida. However, she adds, “all the people who know what to do with them say they don’t know what to do.”

What Cader confirms. “Dimounn ki konn Jaabir pa pou konvinki ki linn fer enn zafer parey,” he insists. His son, he says, has a personality all his own. According to the father, his son has an immense zest for life. “Jaabir ek mwa nou viv kouma kamarad. Li enn zanfan ki tou dimounn kontan li. Li pa get figir ou kominote pou frekant ennn dimounn. » Cader also reveals that for the Rakhi party, Jaabir had brought back a young girl whom he had introduced as his “sister”. A good sportsman, he has won quite a few medals during competitions at school in the past, the father continues with pride.

Jaabir, he continues, is not religious. “Li dir ou fran li, li pa interese fer relizion. » Cader believes that his son's crossings to various countries during expeditions on cruise ships on which he worked would certainly have impacted his philosophy of life. “Kan li Lamerik, apre sak kinz zour zot sanz pei, zot al Mexik, Brezil etc.” » Jaabir, he emphasizes, was delighted during these professional trips: “Where he found his kontantman lor so figir kan li pe vizit bann pei-la… France, Paris, Marseille, England, Turkey… tousala li fer we see you and see you during the videocall. »

Thus, neither Rosida nor Cader can reconcile the image they have of their son with that of a suspected terrorist. However, Rosida adds that the family is fully cooperating with authorities in the investigation. She says she is confident that the truth will ultimately triumph: “We are available for work. »

The Prevention of Terrorism Act

During his arrest, Jaabir Papuretty was held incommunicado. Lawyer Yousuf Azaree explains that when a person is arrested on reasonable suspicion of having committed an offense under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PoTA), a police officer of the rank of superintendent or above can decide to detain him for a period not exceeding 36 hours from his arrest. During this period, she will not be in communication with anyone other than inspector-rank police officers or a government doctor. A recording of the detention and a video can be made during this period, adds the lawyer.

Any prosecution under PoTA can only be done with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions, explains Me Yousuf Azaree. A person convicted of an offense under PoTA faces a prison sentence ranging from 5 years to 35 years. According to the lawyer, to date, to his knowledge, there have been no convictions under this law. However, he emphasizes that a conviction for terrorism in Mauritius would be “damaging” for the country’s image.

What the anti-terrorism unit does

The government has set up a counter-terrorism cell within the Prime Minister's office. Its main objective is to collect, group and analyze intelligence related to terrorism, as well as to disseminate to investigative authorities information concerning any suspicious person or activity linked to terrorism, indicates Me Yousuf Azaree.

Its role is also to transmit information related to terrorism to the police commissioner, and to raise public awareness of the fight against terrorism. The director of this unit may also request information from any institution likely to provide useful information relating to terrorist activities. They must do so as quickly as possible.

Special investigative powers

Furthermore, Me Yousuf Azaree argues that the police commissioner can ask a judge to grant a police officer, at least the rank of superintendent, authorization to use electronic and technical devices to collect information or carry out surveillance, if he has reasonable grounds to believe that an offense under the Anti-Terrorism Act has been committed, is being committed or is likely to be committed. If the judge is convinced that the commissioner's suspicions are reasonable, he may grant this authorization.

In addition, the Minister of Internal Security, i.e. the Prime Minister, can ask postal services as well as telephone operators to retain the data of certain users to prevent or investigate crimes linked to terrorism.

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