Friday, July 22, 2011

Pirates may have rights but they are still criminals

GULF OF ADEN (July 6, 2011) An MK-38 25 mm machine gun fires during a weapons live-fire exercise aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG 68). Anzio is assigned to Combined Task Force 151, a multi-national, mission-based task force established by the Combined Maritime Forces in January 2009 to conduct counter-piracy operations in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin and Arabian Sea. Credit: Flickr/U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brian M. Brooks/Released.
The Institute for Security Studies in South Africa published in July 2011 a study titled “Somali Pirates Have Rights Too” by Deborah Osiro.

While the analysis emphases some points that have been overlooked in the recent cottage industry on Somali piracy, it is, in my view, excessively critical of the way pirates are dealt with in the Kenyan court system.

There are, of course, flaws in the Kenyan system, but pirates know what they are doing is a criminal act and don’t deserve a lot of sympathy.

To suggest that “practically all options that might improve their livelihoods carry the risk of death” justifies piracy a bit much.

Not only is the premise inaccurate, but this is no justification for piracy. Nevertheless, the study makes some useful points and you can come to your own conclusions by reading the entire document.

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