A Somali Pirate Story

https://i2.wp.com/www.e-politik.de/lesen/wp-content/images/2008/11/pirat1.jpgOnce again the West prepares to demonstrate its confused notion of moral superiority. On Monday, 18 May 2009, five alleged Somali pirates faced a preliminary hearing in Rotterdam accused of attempting to hijack the freighter Samanyolu, which on January 2 was sailing in the Gulf of Aden under the flag of the Dutch Antilles(1). The trial is scheduled sometime this autumn, but during the preliminary hearing defense lawyer Willem-Jan Ausma called the five men modern-day Robin Hoods who “attack ships of rich countries to give the ransom to poor families.” He insisted that they act out of “desperation and poverty,”(2) and Haroon Raza, who represents one defendant, said poor social, financial, and political conditions in Somalia were the root causes of piracy.(3)Public prosecutor Ward Ferdinandusse fired back: “Not every Somalian picks up an automatic weapon and becomes a pirate. [And the] sailors who find themselves the victims of pirates are threatened, shot at and taken captive, which can be extremely traumatic.”(4) Ferdinandusse’s colleague, Henny Baan, urged judges not to lose sight of the real victims of piracy – the crews of hijacked ships.(5) Cleverly refraining from mentioning shipping companies, Bann insisted: “It is about innocent people put in fear of their lives.” Both prosecutors disregarded the fact that the majority of the deaths to date – excepting a French hostage shot by his own rescuers in 2008, and a security guard(6) and a Taiwanese fisherman(7) who died during incidents in 2007 – have been of Somalis “killed legally” by British(8), French(9), American(10), Yemeni(11), and Indian(12) military personnel.(13) (There are conflicting reports about the death of an Indian sailor(14).)

A Somali Pirate Story

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