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Monday, April 14, 2008

Aye, Matey - UK Says Pirates Welcome

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From Britain comes news of its continuing mad dash to oblivion as reported by this story:

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.
What makes this story particularly interesting is the reasons for this new concern for the civil rights of these scurvy dogs:

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.
Before commenting further it is important to point out that piracy isn't really indulged in by such charming folks as Johhny Depp's Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean films. In reality they tend to be a bit less whimsical:

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.
So the Brits are fearful of letting these vicious murderers get tried by Islamic courts because the possible punishment is so severe. What makes this more than a little ironic is the fact the Britain has, of late, shown some degree of receptivity to the idea of allowing Islamic Sharia' law gain a foothold in Britain, in some cases supplanting British law (as reported in this post). The apparent thinking here is that Islamic law is too terrible to subject sea-faring, often foreign criminals to but British citizens on terra firma should be accepting enough of multiculturalism and diversity that that same Sharia' law should be acceptable to them.

Following last year's humiliating capture of 15 Royal Navy sailors by Iran, this is just the latest example of the Navy's participation in the Long Sundown of the British Empire. Hail Britannia, indeed.

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