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Pirates can claim UK asylumMarie Woolf, Whitehall Editor
THE Royal Navy, once the scourge of brigands on the high seas, has been told by the Foreign Office not to detain pirates because doing so may breach their human rights.
Warships patrolling pirate-infested waters, such as those off Somalia, have been warned that there is also a risk that captured pirates could claim asylum in Britain.
The Foreign Office has advised that pirates sent back to Somalia could have their human rights breached because, under Islamic law, they face beheading for murder or having a hand chopped off for theft.
In 2005 there were almost 40 attacks by pirates and 16 vessels were hijacked and held for ransom. Employing high-tech weaponry, they kill, steal and hold ships’ crews to ransom. This year alone pirates killed three people near the Philippines.
Captain tells of 47 days at pirates' mercy
Shipping threatened as piracy rises again
Last week French commandos seized a Somali pirate gang that had held a luxury yacht with 22 French citizens on board. The hijackers were paid off by the boat’s owner and then a French helicopter carrier dispatched 50 commandos to seize the hijackers and the ransom money on dry land.
Britain is part of a coalition force that patrols piracy stricken areas and the guidance has troubled navy officers who believe they should have more freedom to intervene.
The guidance was sharply criticised by Julian Brazier MP, the Conservative shipping spokesman, who said: “These people commit horrendous offences. The solution is not to turn a blind eye but to turn them over to the local authorities. The convention on human rights quite rightly doesn’t cover the high seas. It’s a pathetic indictment of what our legal system has come to.”
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “There are issues about human rights and what might happen in these circumstances. The main thing is to ensure any incident is resolved peacefully.”
The guidance is the latest blow to the robust image of the navy. Last year 15 of its sailors were taken prisoner by the Iranians and publicly humiliated.
In the 19th century, British warships largely eradicated piracy when they policed the oceans. The death penalty for piracy on the high seas remained on the statute books until 1998. Modern piracy ranges from maritime mugging to stealing from merchant ships with the crew held at gunpoint.
Originally posted by drwizardphd
The way I see it, when you decide to become a pirate, and hijack ships, kill people, and hold captains for ransom, you forfeit your life.
I don't normally agree with Islamic law, but beheading or losing a hand seems pretty fair for someone who goes out of their way to cause harm to innocent seafarers.
Britain is taking PC to another level. I hope the government over there can get some things in order.
Originally posted by Harlequin
a good friend of mine is a prison officer in the UK - not only has he said that the recent riot will only be the start of a summer like it
he also said that either swale or belmarsh will be the next to go up
but , prisoners are actually getting away with assaulting prison offiers thanks to the goody brigade