Eyes of the Fleet

Eyes of the Fleet

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Somali Pirates: A look inside

An enterprising South Korean TV crew got and inside look at how Somali pirates treat their captives and, as reported here, the treatment stunned the Korean public:
The program showed the crew, eight Koreans and 17 from other Asian countries, who were very skinny, in constant fear as they were guarded by armed kidnappers.

The program said the cause of their despair lay on the government's indifference. The government has not sent a single official to Somalia, and occasional negotiations have been conducted by Dongwon Fisheries, not the government, the report said.

The ministry had said the kidnappers could check Korean journalism reports on the Internet and take advantage of it for negotiation, but there was no computer in the village there, only three telephones, and only one person could speak English.

The government has blamed the kidnappers, saying they do not come up with reasonable conditions for the release of the fishermen due to internal disputes, and also claims that Dongwon Fisheries should directly talk with them and pay a ransom.

The program said the crew felt betrayed, and claimed the government has failed to even grasp the situation.
Naturally, some of the viewers blame their government rather than the pirates...

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