Violent Escalation

It was long held that the Somali pirates weren’t really violent – some even proffered a “Pirate Code of Conduct” as evidence that they wouldn’t hurt seafarers or damage vessels or cargoes.

Sadly it seems the trend is for pirates to become increasingly hostile – and according to the South Korean sailors held captive by Somali pirates they were repeatedly threatened, beaten and even tortured.

The crew have been largely kept away from the media since their return, but have now been speaking out on their ordeal.

One sailor said he lost several teeth after being beaten by one of his captors.”Pirates trampled and beat me whenever I talked with my captain,” Kim Du-chan was quoted as saying. “I lost my four front teeth after being hit by the elbow of one pirate.”

The pirates frequently beat the captain and other senior crew while shouting “kill,” another sailor Choi Jin-kyung said.

The reports confirm the briefing by EUNAVFOR commander, Maj. Gen. Buster Howes who told media that Somali pirates have begun systematically using hostages as human shields and torturing them.

Howes said that pirates have recently tied hostages upside down and dragged them in the sea, locked them in freezers, beaten them and used plastic ties around their genitals.

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