Friday, August 12, 2011

Dutch Idiocy on Piracy

Back in November, the Dutch navy caught five Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden. The had hijacked a yacht, and kidnapped a South African couple. The victims are still missing. After they were found guilty of these actions, a Dutch court sentenced them today. So what does piracy and kidnapping get you in the Netherlands? How about "up to 7 years" in prison? Wow, that should serve as a great deterrent to piracy. No doubt Somalia pirates are quaking with fear over the possibility that they might be intercepted by the Dutch navy. They might face up to seven whole years in prison. Oh wait, that was only for two of them. The other three got even shorter sentences.

If you have to travel in the areas where Somalian pirates operate, you'll just have to take your chances, since no state is willing to take the actions necessary to suppress piracy. At least some nations, such as the U.S. and Spain, are willing to hand out harsh sentences to captured pirates.
In similar cases this year, a U.S. court in Virginia sentenced five Somalis to life in prison and a Spanish court in Madrid sentenced two convicted pirates to 439 years each.
But apparently the Dutch are still blindly adhering to some archaic law written during a time when a 7 year prison term was much more like a death sentence.
Prosecution spokesman Wim de Bruin said the sentences were in line with Dutch law, which provides a maximum 9-year term for piracy and 12 years for a pirate captain. The 17th-century law against sea robbery has not been revised since modern pirates began plaguing the sea lanes off Africa’s eastern coast.
Maybe they should have addressed those sentencing rules before they decided to bring Somali pirates back and try them in the Netherlands.

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