A DECISION by the European Court of Human Rights demanding the French government compensate Somali pirates because the French army took too long to bring them before a judge has been slammed by a group that seeks to assist victims of piracy for being "repugnant and insulting".
The Somali pirates, who suffered a two-day delay in bringing them before a judge in France, were being detained for attacking French ships.
The Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme said the French government has been ordered to pay nine pirates thousands of pounds for their "moral damages" as well as the pirate's legal costs, reports American Shipper.
It said the Somali pirates were caught at sea by the French army on two separate occasions in 2008 and taken back to France for trial.
"In the ruling, the ECHR acknowledged the French were operating under 'completely exceptional circumstances.' The arrest took place 'more than 4,000 miles from French territory,' which explained the long detention without seeing a judge," the group said.
"But the ECHR judges ruled that France needs to compensate the pirates, as the French Army 'took too long to bring the pirates before a judge,' during a 2008 arrest, and so ruled that after their arrival on French soil, authorities were wrong to keep the pirates in custody for an additional 48 hours before bringing them before a judge."
Director for MPHRP, Roy Paul, said: "This decision would be unbelievable if it wasn't made by the European Court of Human Rights.
"The claim that this constituted a 'violation of their rights to freedom and security,' is an insult to the seafarers and yachtsmen they attacked as surely this is the true violation of the seafarers' rights to freedom and security."
Source : HKSG.