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Ecoterra International protests against Inhumane Treatment of Pirates
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ECOTERRA Intl. has repeatedly protested against the ongoing rendition program concerning so called "pirates", against their inhumane treatment in appalling prisons and against the ongoing violations of human rights in these piracy-cases. "While criminals of the high-seas must be brought to book and prosecuted, it has to be in line with the internationally agreed human-rights standards and not in violation of national and international laws," ECOTERRA stated.

Tolerance.ca
Sunday, July 05, 2009

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When 22 Somalis appeared in a Yemeni court last Wednesday, facing piracy and burglary charges, the Yemeni prosecution accused the 10 survivors of a gun battle with Yemeni coastguards of attacking ships and hijacking in the Gulf of Aden in connection with a sea-jacking case of a Yemeni tanker. The other 12, which were captured and handed over to the Yemeni authorities by French naval forces face charges related to attempted piracy.

Earlier it transpired that the administration of the prison to which the 22 Somalis were taken "banned Africans from telephoning their relatives" upon which a human rights organization protested to the Yemeni authorities.

During the preliminary hearing, the chair of the al-Towahi court in Aden province, now finally asked the lawyer of the defendants to file a brief, asking the prison administration to allow them to call their families.

The hearing was adjourned for two weeks, a delay which came due to the lack of translators for the accused. The court then filed a brief to the Justice Ministry requesting to provide people to translate for the accused during the hearings and also enable them to reply. Translators therefore must now attend the court from the next hearing on.

ECOTERRA Intl. has repeatedly protested against the ongoing rendition program concerning so called "pirates", against their inhumane treatment in appalling prisons and against the ongoing violations of human rights in these piracy-cases. "While criminals of the high-seas must be brought to book and prosecuted, it has to be in line with the internationally agreed human-rights standards and not in violation of national and international laws," ECOTERRA stated. If such grave violations continue, the international community will not only loose any moral right to capture and prosecute sea-bandits but cause a further decline in the observation of human rights in Somalia also toward their own nationals - with escalating violence and mistreatment.

The United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) is violated daily by the pirate-hunters and the countries receiving the rendition-prisoners. CAT obliges State Parties--i.e. the ratifying States--to adopt effective legislative, judicial and administrative as well as other measures aimed at the prevention, investigation and punishment of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (CIDT).