Rescued MV Iceberg crew not paid

A cargo-ship crew held captive and tortured by Somali pirates for nearly three years have been paid no wages since before the hijack.

Dubai’s rescued MV Iceberg crew have not been paid
Ramola Talwar Badam

DUBAI // A cargo-ship crew held captive and tortured by Somali pirates for nearly three years have been paid no wages by their employer since before the hijack.

Many have been paid nothing despite joining the MV Iceberg 1 six months before it was attacked in March 2010, and others received only a month’s wages.

The men desperately need cash to pay for treatment of their injuries, including bullet wounds and spinal injuries.

“We are struggling with our health and no one from the shipping company has got in touch with us after we were rescued,” said Jewel Ahiable, 33, who suffers from severe joint pain and swollen feet.

“It is very difficult financially and we face many challenges. We are hoping to get a lawyer to find out how we can get our compensation. We deserve to be paid,” said Mr Ahiable, from Ghana.

Under the terms of his 10-month contract, which began in September 2009, he was paid half his salary for the first three months and assured of payments every two months.

“Half the first three month’s salary was kept as a security in case anyone signed off before the expiration of the contract,” said Mr Ahiable, an engineer.

“But after that I didn’t receive anything. For almost three years we suffered torture. After being beaten, starved of food, water and sleep, we contemplated escaping or ending our lives. I wish someone would show us some concern.”

Harrowing stories of physical and mental abuse emerged from the MV Iceberg I when 22 sailors from India and Ghana were rescued on December 23 last year after a 13-day gun battle and siege of the grounded ship by the Puntland Maritime Police Force.

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Source: The National.

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