Monday, April 20, 2009

Canadian Navy Captures Pirates, Has to Let Them Go

This article from today's Globe and Mail praises the good work of Canadian warship HMCS Winnipeg, whose crew captured a group of Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden after a seven hour chase, making the capture in the dark. However, because the capture occurred in international waters, the Navy had to release the Somalis after briefly detaining them and confiscating their weapons.

It was news to me that we were practicing a catch a release policy against pirates, but then again, remembering what abuses happened the last time the Canadian military captured Somalis in an ill-defined operation, it's a good thing that strict rules of engagement are being follower. Ethical kudos go to this Canadian admiral for this statement from the G&M's article:

“There have been a lot of comments in the media about how much easier it was a couple hundred years ago, when we could just hang them from the yard arm,” Canadian Rear Admiral Bob Davidson said in an interview with CTV's Question Period Sunday. “There's the rule of law that needs to be applied, so we're not currently regularly detaining them, no. There are all kinds of challenges with that.”

An American Forces Press Release with more information on anti-piracy operations in the region can be found here.

If this problem gets worse (and one suspects that it may be something of a crise du jour, then the international community will have to decide what to do with these guys once they are captured, and really go after the rings backing these young men from a country with little or no rule of law.

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Mad Padre

Mad Padre
Opinions expressed within are in no way the responsibility of anyone's employers or facilitating agencies and should by rights be taken as nothing more than one person's notional musings, attempted witticisms, and prayerful posturings.


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