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Somali pirates sentenced to life in UAE

Ten Somali pirates were sentenced to 25 years in prison on Tuesday in the Abu Dhabi Federal Criminal Court of First Instance. The men were convicted of highjacking the MV Arrilah-1, a UAE-owned ship hauling aluminum in the Arabian Sea, in April 2011. The US Fifth Fleet [official website] rescued the ship one day later. In addition to ordering that all arms and ammunition used in the highjacking be confiscated, the court ruled that the 10 pirates would be deported after serving their sentences [WAM report].

A number of countries around the world have been making strides in helping to solve the problem of maritime piracy [JURIST news archive]. Earlier this week, six accused Somali pirates went on trial [JURIST report] in a Paris court for taking 30 crew members hostage in 2008 on the ship Le Ponant in the Gulf of Aden. The US government in March handed over [JURIST report] 15 suspected Somali pirates it captured in January to the Republic of Seychelles for prosecution. Italy ordered its first international piracy trial in February against nine Somali pirates, while France began its first international piracy trial [JURIST reports] in November. In October the UN Security Council adopted a resolution encouraging states to criminalize and punish piracy after maritime piracy reached an all-time high [JURIST reports] in April. The UN also donated $9.3 million [JURIST report] in 2010 to fund piracy courts in Seychelles and Kenya, the only two countries that have created such courts.

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