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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Sea crimes: Mutiny or self-defense?

You be the judge based on this:
Philippines officials voiced concern after a Filipino crew seized control of a Taiwanese fishing boat in the Indian Ocean because of alleged mistreatment.

The nine Filipinos seized the boat on Sunday because of poor rations and hard labour, leader Roderick Sumang said.

Vice President Noli de Castro spoke to Mr Sumang by satellite phone and urged him not to harm the vessel's captain.

The fishing boat is now returning to Port Louis, Mauritius, from which it set out last month.

Mr Sumang told the Associated Press news agency that the mutineers were not mistreating the Taiwanese captain.

"He was only feeding us porridge once a day and only when we've worked our bodies to extreme fatigue," he said.

"We don't have any intention to harm him. We just want to return home."

Philippine diplomats were on their way to Mauritius to meet the returning crew members, a Foreign Ministry official said.

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