[JURIST] The European Court of Human Rights [official website] on Thursday ordered France [judgment, in French; press release] to compensate nine Somalis, most of whom are convicted pirates, for their arrest in 2008. After hijacking [AP report] a French luxury vessel in 2008, the pirates held 30 people captive until the owner of the boat paid a two million dollar ransom. The six suspects who were arrested under suspicion of piracy were held in custody for five days. Meanwhile, suspects of a separate hijacking were held in custody for three days. Both custody instances, the French court said, were unnecessarily long. To make up for this, France must pay all suspects, both convicted and acquitted, thousands of euros in damages.
A number of countries around the world have taken actions in the attempt to solve the problem of maritime piracy [JURIST news archive]. Last month the UN Security Council [official website] unanimously adopted a resolution [JURIST report] renewing its international call to fight piracy off the coast of Somalia. In August security forces arrested [JURIST report] Somali pirate Mohamed Garfanji, then second-in-command of Somalia’s pirate industry. Last year a judge for the US District Court Eastern District of Virginia [official website] sentenced [JURIST report] Somali pirates Abukar Osman Beyle and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar to 21 life sentences for their roles in the killing of four Americans aboard a yacht off the Horn of Africa in February 2011. Also that year three Somali pirates accused of hijacking [JURIST report] a private yacht off the coast of Somalia in 2009 faced trial in France. In February of last year the Abu Dhabi Federal Appeal Court upheld the sentences [JURIST report] of ten Somali pirates convicted of highjacking a UAE-owned bulk-carrier ship in April 2011. In October 2012 the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court of Hamburg [official website, in German] issued sentences [JURIST report] for ten Somalis who were involved in the hijacking the German freighter MS Taipan off the coast of Somalia two years ago.